Pot smokers said hang the fire for now

Pot smokers said hang the fire for now

Private culture rules in progress

Wissanu: calls for caution

People considering growing cannabis privately after the Office of the Narcotic Control Board (ONCB) approved changes to the rule governing the use and cultivation of marijuana have been told to wait for the moment, because the new regulations still have a way to go before they go into effect.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, the government’s legal expert, said the changes affected the use of some cannabis products, not all, and had yet to be enacted.

Changes take effect 120 days after they are announced in the royal gazette, he said, adding that at that time more regulations would be developed to define what constitutes legal cannabis use.

The ONCB – which on Tuesday approved the proposal from the Ministry of Public Health which effectively begins the process of legal recognition of the use of cannabis and hemp in Thailand – will now forward the proposal to Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, who will in turn approve it. before its publication in the Official newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Bhumjaithai party, led by Mr Anutin, is proposing a bill regulating the use of cannabis and hemp outside of research and for medical purposes for further debate in parliament.

Mr Wissanu said on Wednesday that anyone caught growing cannabis on his property before the changes took effect will still be prosecuted.

“Just hold your horses for now,” he said, adding that the warning extended to recreational smoking.

“Until the law is approved, caution is in order,” he said. “It’s not something that can be done freely.”

Mr Wissanu said he believed the bill regulating the use of cannabis outside of research and medicine would be passed by parliament within 120 days.

The bill, he said, would help ease concerns that the government’s move to ease restrictions around cannabis use would put Thailand in breach of three international narcotics conventions, of which Thailand is signatory.

“The bill will show that the country remains vigilant and committed to controlling cannabis use,” he said.

The conventions, the oldest of which dates back to 1961, stipulate the legal application of narcotics in member countries. They prohibit any use of cannabis except for medical and scientific purposes.

He said regulating cannabis use, even for such reasons, will prove difficult.

Authorities lack the ability to quickly check whether THC levels in a product are within permitted levels, which could lead to wrongful arrests, he said.

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