STORY: Thailand has launched a campaign to give away one million free cannabis plants on Friday – a day after they eased the rules, allowing people to grow marijuana at home.
…However the government has discouraged people from getting high and warned smoking in public could lead to prison and fines.
The Southeast Asian country legalized medicinal marijuana in 2018 – and is hoping to develop cannabis as a cash crop and boost the agriculture and tourism sectors.
Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was at the CANNABIS 360 launch in the north eastern Buriram province:
“We have to use cannabis to benefit our own health. Don’t abuse it, don’t just get high. Don't use it and sit at home smiling and not getting any work done. These things are not part of our policies. Don’t misuse it (cannabis plants) and don’t show off yourself smoking pot, you'll get nothing out of that. We have erased away the stigma, it’s being washed away like removing a tattoo. Don’t let it come back.”
The psychoactive compound in marijuana is limited to 0.2% in cannabis extracts and products that can be sold in Thailand, which include oils and candy.
Sompop Chueysiri was also at the launch:
“I plan to plant this for household consumption first, I want to find out for myself how to use different types of cannabis and the different parts of the plant, what’s the difference between the dried and the fresh kinds, and how much concentration. It could turn out bad if we end up overdosing.”
Growing cannabis at home requires registration with the government's smartphone application, PlookGanja or "grow ganja".
Anutin said more than 300,000 people had already signed up with the app.
According to Thai officials - 3,000 people have been freed from prison after being held on cannabis-related crimes - since the law changed this week.