A public forum held by the Crime Suppression Police, the Drug Suppression Police, the National Agricultural Council and the Council of State last summer in Thailand was the main trigger the first steps towards the decriminalisation of cannabis.
Cannabis belongs to the list of category 5 illegal drugs, and prison sentences vary depending on the quantity seized. Currently, possession of marijuana is punishable by up to five years in prison and / or fines of 100,000 THB (€ 2,500); while consumption carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and / or a fine of 20,000 THB (€ 518).
Representatives from both the government and private industry attended the forum and together they agreed to remove cannabis from the illegal drugs list.
The Council of Agriculture is already preparing a proposal of legitimation for the cabinet. And according to the Drug Control Unit of the Thai Police, once decriminalisation becomes a reality, the Department of Public Health will have to issue additional laws for the regulation and control of cannabis.
A green wave spreads across the world
The recent laws decriminalising cannabis and even legalising its medical and recreational use in different parts of the world, have caused more and more countries to join these initiatives.
The US states of Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and California were the most recent to join the green wave when they approved recreational use of marijuana in the election day votes.
Now, Thailand is working along the same lines, to reduce penalties and control related to cannabis. If this country decriminalises, it could be a turning point for the drug policies of neighbouring countries and Thailand could position itself as an example to follow in this matter.