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Department of Public Health emphasizes that smoking cannabis recreationally is still unlawful

The proposed penalty for those who smoke cannabis and create “public disturbance” should be preceded by a warning to quit. If they do not comply, they may be sentenced to a month in prison, a fine of up to 2,000 baht, or both. The only prerequisite for legally cultivating cannabis at home as of June 9 is to download and register with the Plook Ganja smartphone app.

Cannabis smoke is a “public nuisance,” according to Thailand’s Department of Public Health, and smoking it recreationally – at home or in public – is prohibited. Starting June 9, it will be legal to grow cannabis plants at home, but it will remain illegal to use cannabis recreationally. Growing cannabis at home is only for the aim of using the plant’s leaves or stalks in cooking or tea for therapeutic purposes, not to get high. THC percentages of less than 0.2 percent will be authorized in extracts made from domestic cannabis plants.

The department will present the idea to the Ministry of Public Health during a meeting on May 30. All portions of cannabis and hemp plants will no longer be classed as Schedule 5 narcotics beginning of June 9, but eating or smoking high-grade tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, flowers in any form will remain illegal. The Director-General of the Department of Public Health, Suwanchai Watthanayingcharoenchai, recommends that clear guidelines be established to govern cannabis use in order to prevent misuse. Suwanchai is concerned that, as a result of the media attention surrounding Thailand’s quasi-legalization of cannabis, people may feel they can use it recreationally.

According to Suwanchai, cannabis smoke is annoying and can be harmful to other people’s health, which is why it is illegal to discharge cannabis smoke into the air. He suggests that cannabis smoke be categorized as a “public nuisance” under the Public Health Act, allowing annoyed neighbors to file complaints if they are bothered by clouds of stinking cannabis smoke.

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