Thailand's parliament has just voted on whether to approve cannabis for medical use, and they voted to approve the new law which is very exciting and interesting with a prominent law maker in the country calling it a "new year gift" to the Thai people, however recreational use will still remain illegal for the time being for all Thai Nationals and "farang" or foreigners visiting the country.
With the Cannabis laws in Thailand and south-east Asia being notorious for their harsh sentences up to and including the death penalty, this is a welcome change for the country and the wider region of South East Asia. Thai natives used Cannabis as a traditional medicine, until it was banned in the 1930s, possibly as a result of the Americans' policy also changing around this time. And from then on, the penalties have been renowned as some of that strictest and most severe in the world for cannabis use. Until very recently when Thailand's junta-appointed parliament voted to amend the Narcotic Act of 1979 on Tuesday (25/12/2018). The amendment happened after an extra parliamentary session was organized to push bills through before the New Year's holidays, according to the Reuters' news agency. The amendment will become law when it is published in the government gazette, The Bangkok Post reported."This is a New Year's gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people," said Somchai Sawangkarn, chairman of the drafting committee, during the televised session.
Medical Cannabis consumers will be able to carry as yet unspecified amounts necessary for medicinal purposes, if they have a prescription or recognized certificate, the Bangkok Post said. Licenses for production and sale of the product will be strictly controlled by the Government. The newspaper said the law also applies to kratom, a South East Asian plant that acts as a stimulant that many people use worldwide. Sadly at this point no cannabis will be sold to tourists or anyone of a non medical nature however this will likely open up in time and Thailand could soon see a massive boost to its economy, it will soon hopefully be able to attract and capitalize on tourism directly related to Cannabis which will tie in nicely with its other Tourism sectors.
Cannabis is having a renaissance. Across the world, countries have been revisiting their marijuana laws as popular opinion shifts towards full legalization for both medical and recreational usage. With Thailand now joining the crescendo of change it looks like the UK may be stuck in the dark ages. The political scene in the UK right now and for many years has been stagnant and a wholesale change is required to ensure we are not the last ones to the table with regard to cannabis and peoples ability to access it unrestricted. It is immoral that British people can not access their medicine properly and it is being restricted from use for many suffering people. Oh well, looks we will all be off to Thailand for our next holiday - if you want some inspiration, read on for our list of potentially great Cannabis based tourist locations in Thailand.
Thailand has a long history with tourism and backpacking and the chances are if you are reading this then you yourself have probably been there and experienced Thai hospitality already and the stunning scenery and food. It is a mecca of a destination for many and somewhere Quintessential Tips has spent many a month enjoying. What is has to offer, and we can personally recommend each place below - just imagine laying on a breach smoking or vaping cannabis while the sea laps at the shore and you drink exotic fruit juices.
1. Bangkok - Not everyone s idea of idyllic Thailand but this beast of a city is by far one of the coolest and most lively cities in the world. East meets west in the charming Thai capital that has captures so many hearts over the years. Once you go the Big Mango, you will be back. Now how would cannabis fir into this, well simple with the culture and the food options, cannabis and Bangkok are uniquely paired, So much to see and do and for a lot of people this would be made better by being stoned, not drunk. It would allow for a more thoughtful adventure that allows you to permeate Thai culture better than just going to the Kho San road to get intoxicated. We had to mention Bangkok, we love it though and as capital cities go this one is awesome.
2. Pai is already well-known as part of the Golden Triangle and scoring smoke is already not impossible from the tribes who live by the waterfalls but as ever the feeling of breaking the Draconian laws are ever present and will put most people off. If you could purchase and consume cannabis freely in Pai then you would have such an experience with the mountain backdrops and the incredible blend of cultured and food. With so many activities you would not get board for a while and the hot days and cool night lends themselves to the adventurous cannabis enthusiast.
3. Kho Tao is a divers paradise and this is one of those islands in southern Thailand that is beautiful and relaxing without being to in your face and industrial like Ko Phangan or Samui can be. Walk, eat, swim and dive and then let the sun go down with a doobie on the deck of your beach hut. Thailand has many reggae bars, you will see them in every place, imagine one day it being legal to go and smoke in them or on the beach with no fear. Thailand's tourism will double.
4. Ko Samui is for a very developed island in the southern Thailand islands actually quite nice and has a charm all of its own. Its many different beaches and walking streets are sure to keep families, backpackers and tourists busy all day and night with its bars, clubs and great restaurants. Just like drinking alcoholic cocktails and beer, cannabis could drive tourism to Ko Samui and reinvigorate it. Basically everyplace is better with weed and the countries that legalize it for medical and recreational use will see an increase in Tourism via this relaxing of the law.
However, at this time it is just medical usage and not recreational but well done Thailand for being pro active in the taking care of your sick and ill population with natural plants that have been used for generations - if only the UK was not so corrupt, we could be leading the way forward instead of limping in at the end of the race. Meekly showing the world that we prefer to sanction the poor and sick with bedroom taxes and universal credit than legalize a plant with so much value. For a country with some harsh penalties for cannabis use and possession, the UK could learn from Thailand and its recent law change,