Thailand Release 3000 Prisoners After Legalisation

Liz Filmer
10 Jun 2022

Thailand officially decriminalised cannabis today, June 9th 2022. This allows anyone living in the country to freely cultivate and use cannabis plants and products.

3,071 individuals who had been previously convicted of cannabis-related offences were also released from prisons because the plant is no longer deemed a Category 5 narcotic. 

At the same time, the government also pardoned all those still facing trials for related offences.

Growing cannabis at home is now perfectly legal. Growers need only register themselves via the Plook Ganja mobile app first.
 However, whilst the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is ok, there is still a harsh stance on THC extracts that exceed the 0.2 per cent limit. Anything over this limit will still be treated as a Category 5 narcotic.

There are still some risks, however. The Thai government is deterring the use of recreational cannabis and smoking in public. A new law decrees that they can prosecute individuals for causing "public disturbance via consumption of cannabis". Troubling others with the smell of cannabis smoke is punishable by a fine of up to THB25,000 and up to three months in jail.
Commercial cannabis growers will still have to undertake a government review and obtain approval. Manufacturers that wish to include cannabis in any form in their products will still be required to stick to relevant industry laws.

The use of cannabis to help with medical conditions like depression, anxiety, pain, glaucoma, and neuralgia has long been lauded by supporters of cannabis use. This latest result in Thailand emphasises a significant victory for advocates within the country and gives hope to others worldwide.

Whilst it is now law to allow cannabis to be used to treat medical conditions, it is expected that a large number of the population will be consuming the plant for recreational purposes only.

A recent Thai study revealed that about 1.89 million Thai citizens between 18 to 25 had used cannabis for "non-medical" purposes in 2021. This is double the total amount in 2020.

Liz Filmer