Reader Talkback Thailand Results: Should smoking cannabis be allowed in licensed cannabis shops in Pattaya?

PHOTO: Bright TV

The following is our exclusive weekly feature in which we ask our readers a news topical question and then give you a week to answer it on our various channels, compiling a diverse range of answers and opinions to present to you, our valued readers. Here are the results from our last question…

Recently, we asked you the following:

Should smoking cannabis be allowed in licensed cannabis shops in Pattaya?

Some context around this question:

Recent guidelines from the Thai Ministry of Public Health have now essentially banned smoking cannabis in all businesses, including cannabis shops and cafes. While some shops are currently being creative and have set up separate smoking rooms that are not technically in the venue, which is a grey area but technically currently legal, other venues that don’t have the space have protested the new rules.

According to business owners, banning smoking in shops only encourages customers, especially tourists, to smoke in public on beaches, at parks, at hotels that may bother other patrons, and more. They claim that if smoking is allowed at licensed cannabis shops that firmly check customer IDs and focus only on cannabis and not on other products then customers will not smoke in other areas, bothering those who don’t smoke.

Cannabis has been a hot-button issue in Thailand since it was decriminalized in June, with some politicians even wanting to ban the plant entirely again. Thailand banned smoking in shops to diminish recreational smoking, according to the Thai Ministry of Public Health, but many claim this move will backfire as people look for other places to smoke.

TPN notes that smoking in shops is allowed if under the jurisdiction and authority of a licensed medical practitioner, medical doctor, or traditional medical practitioner.

Here is what you, our readers, had to say as our editors selected some of the most diverse responses to highlight different points of view. Obviously, we can’t post everyone’s opinion here so we chose a variety of the most varied opinions. The views and statements below are the reader’s own and may not reflect those of TPN media. There have been minor edits for spelling and grammar only:

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LePub Pattaya: You know my answer will be no. But I will explain why. Thailand is surrounded by so many countries that ban cannabis. Many tourists from these countries will stop coming if it is openly smoked, even in a shop. The smell gets out into the street every time.

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Gav-It ain’t cool. Zone it off like in the Netherlands. We know what the rules say but we also know how “implementation” works over here. It’s a free for all and is in the face of those who’d prefer to ignore it

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Demigur-Don’t care much as long as it’s absolutely banned in bars, restaurants, and even preferably in public. I hate the smell and I want nothing of it.

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Marco-Why not…I don’t smoke but I don’t care

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Arnold G-Yes, and they should be forced to smoke it there and not in public.

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Zelda P-Of course it should be allowed – after all, they allow drinking beer and wine and spirits everywhere as well, and alcohol is a much more dangerous drug than ganja.

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David M-Honestly, I think it’s ok. But I think the exact opposite will happen if it’s allowed. People will think they can smoke it anywhere.

It is supposed to be for medical reasons not recreational.
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RC Roche-Haven’t seen a no smoking sign in a weed shop yet
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Mark B-Yes it should Thailand changed the law and many people invested so leave the law alone
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Dmitry M-yes they should allow smoking inside weed shops but not outside on the streets. The smell gives me a massive headache
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Max B-Not for me but I wouldn’t be against it.
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Steven W-Yes. People will smoke anyways. Might as well let them do it legitimately, without prosecution!
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Glenn S-Sure why not! Never seen anyone go on a rampage after smoking a little dope.
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Paulo-

If you don’t provide specific places where people can legally consume Cannabis, they will choose to use it everywhere. And what more logical place to consume Cannabis, than inside the same licensed place where you go to purchase it?
Time to dispense with this silly notion that Cannabis use must involve highly educated doctors in white lab coats thoughtfully doling out controlled dosages in a clinical setting while carefully monitoring the effects, with watchful heavily-armed police never too far away.
Cannabis is a natural folk medicine that is non-addictive and safe to consume. It does not provoke anti-social or violent behavior. It no more needs strict administration and regulation than Paracetamol, which has probably harmed the health of far more people than Cannabis ever will.
Thai health minister Anutin Charnvirakul actually got it exactly right the first time. Everything since June 9 has been nothing more than people seeking to leverage Cannabis to advance their own political purposes and agenda.
Either require a doctor’s prescription to consume alcohol only under strict supervision in a very limited number of places, or create regulations so that Cannabis can legally be consumed no more or less easily than alcohol.
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Ronnie M-

Make it so there are a few licensed places in each town where people can pick up and no smoking in public.
More cannabis shops than 7/11 already.

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Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over eight years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail Pattayanewseditor@gmail.com About Us: https://thepattayanews.com/about-us/ Contact Us: https://thepattayanews.com/contact-us/