The Thailand Government has officially listed cannabis as a controlled herb under the Traditional Medicine Wisdom Protection and Promotion Act, in a bid to prevent any illegal use of the weed among youngsters.
The Thai Food and Drug Administration had decided to decriminalize cannabis for medical and industrial use on June 9 and even allowed citizens to grow the plant in their homes under certain limitations. The order for the listing was signed by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Thursday.
As per the order, those below the age of 20, pregnant woman and breastfeeding mothers will not be allowed to use cannabis as the listing clearly identifies the weed and its extracts as a controlled herb.
According to the Bangkok Post, the use of the drug in public places like educational institutes, departmental stores and state-owned agencies is also prohibited. As explained by Minister Anutin, the ban in public places comes under the Public Health Law, which underlines it as a "nuisance."
However, individuals who are 20 years old and above will be allowed to own, distribute, use and grow cannabis plants.
The order is not applicable for doctors and they are free to prescribe the drug and its extracts to patients, irrespective of their age. Those individuals suffering from any disease that requires a cannabis-related treatment, are also allowed to use and own the plant and its extracts as per their medical prescriptions.
"What we are controlling is the amount of THC by weight, which shouldn't exceed 0.2% per gramme, or it is considered a narcotic," Minister Anutin said, as reported by the Bangkok Post.
According to the Health Ministry, the listing under the act will be imposed until the official announcement of a law is made. As of now, the bill has passed its first reading at the House of Representatives at the Thai Parliament.
Till the second and third readings, the Public Health Department regulations will be considered as guidelines for law enforcement.