420-Unfriendly: Weed not welcome at Bangkok’s hotels

Photo: Ninara / CC by 2.0
Photo: Ninara / CC by 2.0

Bangkok’s hotels large and small had a resounding message today for guests wanting to blaze up: not here.

Though weed is now so legal that its sellers will soon outpace 7-Elevens, tourists flying in to score some ganja could be in for a rude awakening – without the baking – at their hotel of choice. 

“Absolutely not,” a representative from Novotel Bangkok Siam Square told Coconuts on Friday morning. “While weed isn’t illegal, bringing such drugs is not appropriate for hotels. If the guests are caught smoking, whether cigarettes or weed, they will be reprimanded on a case-by-case basis.”

Of 11 hotels contacted, all said they would not allow recreational smoking on their premises, and while some acknowledged it was not illegal, determined smokers could face fines for violating hotel policies. 

“Here at Banyan Tree, we do not have smoking areas for such activities, therefore weed isn’t allowed on the premises,” a hotel spokesperson said.

One major hotel said that it would tolerate a purple haze if it was for a documented medical purpose.

“At the moment, we do not allow guests to bring in weed for recreational purposes, but if they have a medical license and require it for their health condition, then we will allow it,” said a rep at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit.

But every other hotel was adamant that guests should not 420 in the rooms, on their roofs, or even poolside.

“We’re sorry, but we do not allow that,” a receptionist at the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok said, politely. “It’s a bit of a sensitive topic.”

“Our rooms are non-smoking areas, so not only could you not smoke cigarettes or weed as well,” Asai Bangkok’s concierge said. “You’d be given a warning and may be fined if you were caught smoking.”

That’s not to say stealth smokers aren’t’ blazing their way, as you read this, through a gram of Gary Payton on some hotel balcony.

The Okura Prestige hedged a bit, saying it doesn’t allow smoking ”at this time.” Ibis Bangkok Sathorn gave a firm no, saying that tokin’ was verboten at all its branches.

Anantara Riverside, a resort known for decidedly sick riverside views, said it didn’t even want guests to bring in weed.

What about smaller, boutique-y hotels? Despite being a short walk from the cannabis clouds of Khaosan Road, Let’s Zzz Bangkok said it was a non-smoking hotel and guests would be fined if they brought in weed.

Another, Tarawish Hotel, said no as weed, according to them, is still considered an illegal substance. When told that weed has been decriminalized for three months now, the rep simply said “we will consider it if anything changes.”

The most lax position wasn’t quite 420-friendly, but not really.

So Bangkok, over near Lumphini Park, nixed smoking but said edibles and drinks were fine so long as they were in “accordance with the current laws.” 

Since weed was decriminalized in June, Thailand has grappled with numerous unanswered questions that hadn’t been considered in its hasty rollout. Fly with buds on domestic flights? You bet. Smoke recreationally? Sure. Licenses required? Kind of but not really.

Enthusiasts, cultivators, and retailers are still waiting for passage of the Cannabis Act, which is going through a round of revisions in parliament for clearer rules (any rules, really).

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