The Problems of Thailand’s Cannabis Legalization
Thailand has been the first Southeast Asian country to legalize the use of cannabis. This was the news that was broadcast around the world and caused many people to suddenly put Thailand at the top of their list of countries to visit.
But the news was incomplete. Thailand has legalized cannabis consumption for medical purposes only. The amount of THC in cannabis that’s officially legal to use is 2%, much less than most regular users would prefer.
Many business people in Thailand only heard the word “legalized” before they started lining up suppliers and looking for locations to set up stores dealing in cannabis. Today, in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, there are literally dozens of neon-lit cannabis stores selling various strains of potent Indica and Sativa and the paraphernalia to enjoy them.
The industry has taken off like a shot, and the tourism industry has also seen a boost because of the availability of cannabis within Thailand. The government has given birth to an industry that will be hard to rein in, although the freedom of the early days of legalization is likely to be curtailed at some point. And this is where the problem lies.
The cannabis industry has quickly become a part of the country’s economy, not a huge part, but a significant money-maker nonetheless. Any government interference in positive economic growth is likely to be unpopular and cause some rebellion. The fact that a new government will likely be in power very shortly complicates the issue.
Soome parties have added cannabis reform to their platform in response to constituent demands. At the very least, travelers and local users should keep their eyes and ears open for new laws to be enacted that will kill the buzz of cannabis consumption. The government has issued a set of cannabis guidelines for tourists. A law already forbids smoking cannabis in public with a fine of US $800 and up to three months in jail, although it’s rarely enforced. But new changes and restrictions may be coming to restrict cannabis use.