The human relationship with cannabis has always been a roller coaster. Since its discovery, the cannabis plant has been loved, hated and heavily censored throughout history.
Even now, beyond a normalization and increase in the interest and consumption of cannabis by a large part of the population (especially in the West), it is striking that it is still prohibited in most countries.
Cannabis in the world
Currently, some of the countries where its consumption is legal, either partially or completely, are:
- SpainThere is no clear line defining what is legal and what is not. Currently, although its commercialization is illegal, cultivation and personal use is not prohibited and there are cannabis associationsas BCN Kushwhere you can get together to smoke and share.
- Canada: the Canadian Senate approved in June 2018 the legalization of cannabis. As of October 17, production and consumption is allowed in the country. Canada has thus become the first G20 country to authorize the free consumption and production of marijuana.
- United States: more and more states are legalizing cannabis consumption. In most states it is legal for medicinal use, with the exception of Washington and Colorado, where it is also legal for recreational use, and California, where it is not fully defined.
- Netherlands: we all know the famous "coffee shop" in Amsterdam, where you can go to smoke a peta and relax. The use of soft drugs has been allowed in the Netherlands since 1979, but not their production and marketing.
- Uruguay: in 2013 the possession of cannabis and its recreational, medicinal and industrial use was legalized. The state regulates production and Uruguayan citizens over 18 years of age may purchase it in authorized pharmacies after registration. The maximum permitted possession is 40 grams.
The list continues with countries such as Chile, Malta, Colombia, South Africa, Ecuador, Portugal, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina or Australia, where its recreational or medicinal use is partially or completely legal.
What about Asia?
Looking at the list, one thing is striking, isn't it... There are no Asian countries! Until not so long ago, the consumption of cannabis and everything related to it was strongly prohibited in East Asia. Only this year Thailand decided to become the first country on the continent to become cannabis-friendly and legalize its consumption.
On July 9, 2022, the Thai government removed the cannabis plant from the list of narcotic drugs. Accompanying this, they handed over one million marijuana plants and released more than four thousand prisoners who had lost their freedom for cannabis-related crimes.
Legality of cannabis in Thailand
This change is very striking, especially considering that Thailand used to be one of the most prohibitive countries with the strictest cannabis laws.
While legalization is focused on the medicinal useNow in Thailand you can sit in a restaurant and order cannabis food, or if you are a citizen you can plant and distribute an unlimited number of plants legally.
It should be noted that the sale continues to be prohibited for those under 20 years of age and pregnant women, and it is not all rosy for those who can grow or buy.
For starters, recreational consumption outside your home is still totally prohibited, as they consider that the smell and smoke of marijuana can be annoying to other people.
On the other hand, cannabis extracts, as well as food served in restaurants, cannot have more than 0.2% THC.
Why legalize marijuana?
There are several reasons why the Thai government decided to move forward with this new law. Some of the most important are the medicinal properties of cannabisThe company's goal is to provide citizens with this option with respect to their health and the economic benefit that accompanies this decision.
The government believes this will benefit cafes, restaurants and other businesses that can now sell food or products containing cannabinoids, thus ending the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
How does it affect the tourist?
There is a good reason why this legislation is world news, but don't think Thailand is the new Amsterdam of Asia, it is still far from that.
The government discouraged any tourist who wants to go there with the only idea of smoking cannabis and as mentioned above, it is a measure designed for medicinal use.
While Thailand has always been a great travel destination (and hopefully will be even more so in the future... ;), if you want to enjoy the best quality marijuana in peace and quiet, you don't need to travel there.