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After Ubonrat Grandma Busted for Weed, Thais Reminded Growing Cannabis at Home Still Not Legal

Nang, 70, who told police grew the plant to treat symptoms of her chronic illness despite not having a license.
Nang, 70, who told police grew the plant to treat symptoms of her chronic illness despite not having a license.

While police in some areas might be lenient, growing weed at home won’t be legal until June.

Two older women in Ubonrat found that out the hard way last week when someone tipped off local police that they had a single cannabis plant at home. Officers went knocking and arrested Nang, 70, who told police grew the plant to treat symptoms of her chronic illness despite not having a license. Cops impounded the plant and arrested the woman. She was held overnight.

On Thursday, the commissioner of Provincial Police Region 4, which covers Ubonrat, decried the over-the-top action by the local plod, saying local police should use considered judgement when dealing with home-grown cannabis cases.

He told all police stations under his jurisdiction if people grew a few plants for the treatment of their own illness, not for any commercial purpose, police should create understanding about relevant laws instead of arresting them.

Confusion reigns in the country right now because Thailand has moved to decriminalize all parts of the cannabis plant. But people cannot grow their own plants legally until June 9 before growing plants at home, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Thursday.

Opening an academic conference on medical cannabis in Bung Kan province, Anutin said he promoted cannabis as a cash crop because it could be used for medical purposes and all parts of cannabis plants could be food ingredients.

However, Anutin warned that people must not grow cannabis at home until 120 days after the Royal Gazette published the legalization of cannabis, or until June 9. Those who wanted to grow it right away must abide by legal requirements, he said.

He said that the House would consider a cannabis and hemp bill that would govern the use of both plants in particular.

In 2022, despite Covid-19, there was very high demand for products made from cannabis and hemp in the country and they led to the circulation of over 7 billion baht in the national economic system, Anutin said.