Thailand Decriminalises Cultivation And Possession Of Weed
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People in Thailand can now grow and sell cannabis plants after their government dropped marijuana from its list of banned substances.
According to the BBC, the Thai government is hoping the development of a cannabis trade will help boost the country's agriculture and tourism sectors.
There are also hopes the move will give Thailand a head start on its neighbours in cornering the market on the production of medical cannabis.
One million cannabis seedlings will be given away to citizens to encourage the public to start the cultivation of their own crop of weed at home and kickstart the industry.
There will also be a release of thousands of prisoners who were arrested on weed-related charges.
Despite this new legalisation of growing weed, it is still illegal in Thailand to use marijuana for recreational use.
Government officials have warned people that they can grow weed but they're not allowed to smoke it, despite legalisation advocates claiming the new move all but decriminalises marijuana.
Speaking to CNN, Thai health minister Anutin Charnvirakul warned foreign tourists looking to Thailand as a place to get high that the country 'won't welcome you' as smoking marijuana in public is still considered a public nuisance.
He said: "We still have regulations under the law that control the consumption, smoking or use of cannabis products in non-productive ways.
"There has never once been a moment that we would think about advocating people to use cannabis in terms of recreation - or use it in a way that it could irritate others."
He expects Thailand's burgeoning weed market to grow far beyond a value of $2 billion and said the country was one of the best places in the world to grow cannabis.
While people can't smoke weed for recreational purposes, what they can now do is buy food with cannabis as a main ingredient.
Even before this new ruling there were plenty of businesses in Thailand putting cannabis into food and drink items for sale.
There are still legal limits to the strength of the drug people can grow as all cannabis products sold in Thailand must contain less than 0.2 percent THC, the chemical compound that makes users feel high.
How authorities will police this restriction is unclear as the large amount of cannabis expected to be grown will be tough to regulate.
Thailand previously approved the possession of cannabis for medicinal purposes back in 2018.
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