BANGKOK – Thailand has made it legal to cultivate and possess marijuana from Thursday. It was a dream come true for the ageing generation of pot smokers, who remember the kick given by the legendary Thai stick variety.
The public health minister’s plan to distribute one million marijuana seedlings starting Friday has fueled the notion that Thailand is turning into a wonderful wonderland.
The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to delist all planted narcotics makes Thailand the first country in Asia to decriminalize marijuana for medical and industrial use. But it is not following the examples of Uruguay and Canada, the only two countries that have legalized recreational marijuana on a national basis.
So far, it appears no effort will be made to police what people can grow and smoke at home, other than registering to do so and declaring it for medical purposes.
Some Thai advocates celebrated Thursday by buying marijuana at a cafe that was previously limited to selling products made from parts of the plant that didn’t get people high. Dozens of early visitors to the Highland Cafe were able to choose from a variety of buds with names like Sugarcane, Bubblegum, Purple Afghani and UFOs.
The day’s first customer, 24-year-old Ritipong Bakkul, said, “I can say out loud that I am a cannabis smoker. I don’t need to hide like before when it was branded as an illegal drug. ” Marijuana is also known as bhang or ganja.