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Thailand to Free All Imprisoned on Cannabis Charges

While more than 40,000 Americans remain behind bars, Thailand declassifies cannabis as a narcotic setting the path to freedom for thousands.




The limited availability of cannabis products, like those at the international Black Canyon Coffee chain in Bangkok, is about the rapidly change with the decriminalization of cannabis on June 9. In a sweeping victory of cannabis justice, more than 4,000 people in jail for cannabis convictions will be released. PHOTO GCT

Thailand’s Office of the Courts of Justice has officially notified enforcement agencies to prepare for the June 9th release of 3,219 inmates convicted of cannabis-related offenses and another 884 held on cannabis charges, reports the Bangkok Post.

Thailand has been leading Southeast Asia and the world in cannabis reform. Now, its government has eclipsed even the U.S. in officially sanctioning the release of those incarcerated on charges related to a plant now seen in a new light. The removal of cannabis’ from Thailand’s Category 5 of narcotics on June 9 will not only free cannabis usage, but also human beings.

Where America doesn’t lead the way
According to the Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform, 40,000 cannabis prisoners in America remain in their cells — convicted of an activity that is no longer a crime. At the end of April, President Biden issued clemencies to just 78 individuals, consisting of three pardons and 75 commutations for people serving sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, far behind his campaign promise made during the 2020 election.

The logo of Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, which views cannabis usage as no longer criminal.

Thawatchai Chaiwat, deputy director-general of the Thai Corrections Department, said the inmates’ unconditional release stems from the Public Health Ministry regulation ending cannabis’ classification as a Category 5 narcotic. Per the regulation change published on Feb 9, all parts of cannabis and hemp plants, except extracts containing more than 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), will no longer be on the Healthy Ministries narcotics list in June.

The regulation absolves anyone of a crime who produced, imported, exported, possessed, sold or consumed cannabis when legalization takes place. They are no longer deemed offenders or convicts under the law.


All criminal records of those convicted for cannabis will be expunged.



Cannaconvo with Peter Su of Green Check Verified

Cannabis Last Week with Jon Purow interviews Peter Su of Green Check Verified. Peter Su is a Senior Vice President with Green Check Verified, the top cannabis banking compliance software/consultancy in the space. A 20+ year veteran of the banking industry, Peter serves on the Banking & Financial Services committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He chairs the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the NYCCIA & HVCIA. He is an official member of the Rolling Stone Cannabis Culture Council. And, he is on the board of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, serving as treasurer.

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