Smoking ganja in public ‘still banned’ despite withdrawal of cannabis bill
Rules on cannabis use – including a ban on smoking the herb in public – are still in force despite the withdrawal of the Cannabis and Hemp Bill, the government said on Sunday.
The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to send the bill back to a review committee instead of passing it at the second reading. Democrat and Pheu Thai MPs who voted against the bill complained that it promoted recreational use of marijuana.
However, Public Health Ministry announcements after cannabis was legalised on June 9 dictate that the herb should be used for medical purposes, government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul said on Sunday. She gave the example of a June 15 announcement banning public smoking of cannabis, which carries punishment of up to one year in jail, a 2,000 baht fine or both.
She added that a June 17 announcement limits the amount of cannabis individuals can possess and bans sale of the herb to children and pregnant women. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs must get permission before using cannabis or hemp in foods, medicine or cosmetics.
“Although the cannabis and hemp control bill was sent back to the vetting panel, existing regulations will help control the use of the decriminalised herbs until the bill comes into effect," she said.
She added that the cannabis policy integration committee, chaired by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, may launch more measures to ensure the decriminalised herb is used appropriately.