Thais will be able to grow any amount of marijuana for personal use from June 9 onwards, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Saturday.
Anutin, who is also deputy prime minister and Bhumjaithai Party leader, was speaking at the opening ceremony of a forum on the medical use of marijuana in Public Health Area 10. The meeting was held at Rajabhat Si Sa Ket University on Saturday.
Anutin said his party’s campaign promise was to get households to be allowed to grow six marijuana plants for personal use, but he could do better by lifting this limit.
However, he said, the public would have to wait until June 9 because that is when the Public Health Ministry’s directive decriminalising marijuana goes into effect. The order will have completed the requisite 120 days after being published in the Royal Gazette by then.
The minister added that people will not have to seek permission for growing marijuana, but will have to inform the authorities about the number of plants they possess. He said the registration of the number of plants is required by an international treaty Thailand has ratified.
He added that the Public Health Ministry will soon submit a bill to the House of Representatives to govern the use of marijuana after it is officially decriminalised. The minister did not provide a timeframe for the new bill.
Anutin said marijuana and hemp are really useful products, which is why his party and ministry are pushing for Thais to grow them like household crops.
He added that Bhumjaithai has received full support from all agencies under the Public Health Ministry to push for the medical use of marijuana and some 100,000 patients have been treated so far. He added that the next goal is to push for the plants to become cash crops for communities.
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK