World Cannabis Day falls on April 20th each year, but this year it is a product that enjoys a different status in Thailand compared to the day in recent history. A Royal decree signed by his Majesty the King means there are now numerous legal ways to possess and use cannabis. Thailand’s first cannabis cafe, ’Taste of Ganja’, opened in Prachin Buri and another called ’The 420 Cannabis Bar‘ opened in Bangkok recently. These outlets focus on using the leaves of the plant and possession of said leaves is totally legal.
The Department of Thai Traditional & Alternative Medicine recently held a 2-day informational event at the Museum of Public Health & Medicine in Nonthaburi, in order to inform people the ‘cans’ and ‘cannots’ when it comes to growing and using Marijuana.
For individual use there are possibilities for people that have specific health conditions that can be improved by the intake of cannabis, but first they must obtain a license or a prescription by a duly qualified person. Conditions deemed to be improved by the intake of cannabinoids, CBD, include:
• Nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy treatment
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Nerve Pain
Other conditions under consideration include:
• Terminal Cancer
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Alzheimer’s Disease
• Anxiety Disorder
• Demyelinating Disease
The DTTAM is actually encouraging sufferers to attain the necessary approval and grow the plant for themselves, as long as the psychoactive component Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is only found in very low traces and is not used or sold you are unlikely to face any problems. In terms of growing, seven people can join together to form a ‘Community State Enterprise’ but each of the seven may grow no more than six plants.
They must also enter into a contract with a local community health promotion or a government agency and each application will be considered according to the suitability of the site, have surveillance cameras installed, and undertake certain control guarantees. One thing is clear, we are only in the earliest stages of an enormous growth industry. The list of attainable benefits from controlled use of the cannabis plant are immense. And then there are the benefits of decriminalisation and the potential reduction in crime.