Thai cops punished for arresting woman with 1 weed plant

In another sign of Thailand’s more liberal approach to drug enforcement, four cops in Chonburi province were disciplined for arresting a woman who grew a single weed plant. 

With weed being decriminalized next week, four police on Tuesday were transferred to inactive posts after they arrested 55-year-old Pornpimol Prakobpol at her home in Chonburi’s Sriracha district. 

Pornpimol was initially charged with “producing drugs” without permission. A 20-gram plant was initially seized by police. She told them she planted it to help with her diabetes. Medical consumption is one of several uses lawmakers are expected to support in legislation enabling de facto legal use in the coming days.

After people criticized the arrest, given that weed will no longer be illegal within 8 days, Chonburi provincial commander Maj. Gen. Atthasit Kitjahan issued the order punishing the officers.

Atthasit also urged officers to use “judgment” before they arrest  people who grow weed plants. 

Pornpimol was later released without condition. 

June 9 will mark 120 days since the order to delist cannabis entirely was published in the Royal Gazette on Feb. 9. Prior to that, only the non-psychoactive parts of the plant had been decriminalized. 

Under the proposed legislation, people from June 9 onward would be able to grow marijuana at home, according to health minister Anutin Charnvirakul who said that people will be allowed to grow “as many weed plants” as they like in their homes.

They would also be allowed to use it, But the government strongly encourages people to only do so for reasons – not just for fun – but no weed police will be knocking on doors to ask.

While growing does not have to obtain permission from authorities, growers are urged to use a government app called Plook Ganga (“Grow Weed”).

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul poses for a photo to promote the ‘Plook Ganja’ application. Photo: Thai Health Reform Foundation


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