In a recent statement, the Bhumjaithai Party offered clear opposition to any planned activities centered around World Cannabis Day, slated for Thursday. The party emphasized that consuming cannabis in public remains illegal, and those considering staging related events should cancel them. Public cannabis smoking is currently in violation of Section 74 of the Public Health Act, and the consequences for such an offense include up to one month in jail and/or a fine of up to 2,000 baht, resulting from causing a public nuisance.
Party registrar Supachai Jaisamut made this announcement in response to reports that several activities that included cannabis smoking were being organized in numerous locations. Some of these venues included popular tourist spots in Bangkok, specifically Khao San and Rambutri roads. The Bhumjaithai Party had previously advocated for the decriminalization of cannabis, citing the plant’s potential as a valuable economic crop and its various medicinal applications. However, since the legalization of its use, the lack of specific regulation has led to widespread chaos and confusion, with recreational use skyrocketing and pot shops springing up everywhere to meet the growing demand.
With the first attempts at establishing legislation for cannabis use stalling before the House dissolved in March, the responsibility of clarifying its legal status now falls to the next government. In the meantime, Supachai emphasizes that cannabis is currently classified as a medicinal herb, and its use must abide by all relevant regulations. This is particularly important to prevent misuse and any potential negative impact on the general public. “The Bhumjaithai Party supports the use of cannabis for public health and Thailand must have a law to control cannabis use,” he stated.
While discussing the Khaosan420 event planned for April 20th, Supachai expressed his concerns about its legal compliance and potential effects on the public, urging the organizers to cancel it. The 420 code, which refers to cannabis consumption, can be linked to a 1971 legend about a group of American high school students who met each day at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana. The president of the Khao San Business Association, Sa-nga Ruangwattanakul, stated that none of the local business operators were aware of the Khaosan420 event, and the association would not permit it due to its violation of the law.