Cannabis sales on Khao San Rd ‘illegal’

Cannabis sales on Khao San Rd ‘illegal’

Officials may alert police, said Phra Nakhon district chief Wasan Boonmuenwai.
Officials may alert police, said Phra Nakhon district chief Wasan Boonmuenwai.

The sale of cannabis and cannabis products by street vendors is illegal and if the rule is violated, it is the police’s job to take criminal action against the offenders, said Phra Nakhon district chief Wasan Boonmuenwai.

Mr Wasan was speaking after Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said he smelled cannabis while jogging near Khao San Road, a popular night entertainment strip, in the district.

It prompted Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to call on law enforcement agents to arrest people trading in cannabis and cannabis products on the street.

Mr Wasan said even though district officials cannot make arrests, they may alert the police if sales take place in public areas. Phra Nakhon district officials
routinely send thessakij inspectors to patrol Khao San Road in two shifts — 9am–6pm, and 6pm–6am daily. During the second shift, inspections are conducted with Chana Songkhram police and military officers. The police typically look out for people smoking cannabis in public. If found, these smokers may be charged on the spot.

Mr Wasan said the 200 vendors on Khao San Road are issued licences to sell food, beverages, clothes, jewellery and accessories. He said inspectors have found four shops on Khao San Road selling cannabis products. 

Meanwhile, Yada Pornpetrampa, president of the Bangkok and Khao San Road Vendors Association, said the recent decriminalisation of cannabis is doing more harm than good for tourism. She said stories were being shared on social media of tourists falling ill after smoking cannabis on Khao San Road. Cannabis smoke may drive away tourists who come as families, as parents fear their children being exposed to harmful substances.

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