Campaign to give away one million free cannabis plants : an initiative by (can you believe this) the government of Thailand.
The year is 2022. Yes, I’ve checked and double checked. It is not some post apocalyptic world or even an alternative universe. Wait, how do we know if we’re in a alternative universe, or still in the ‘original’ one? We have braved through more bouts of Covid-19 restrictions than we’d first thought, and now the Thailand government is giving away free cannabis plants.
But (always with a quick but, we Asians) the government’s official stand is still to discourage people from getting high.
After decriminalising marijuana growth for commercial purposes, Thailand’s government began distributing plants, but with a stern warning. Authorities are, however, discouraging its recreational use; smoking in public could lead to fines or prison time.
“Don’t use it and sit smiling at home and not get any work done,” said Thailand’s Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul. I’m not sure if he said it while half smiling, but he seems to be pretty serious about it.
And get this – people are allowed to plant their own at home if they registered on a government smartphone application called PlookGanja (which translates as “grow ganja”).
The great thing is that more than 300,000 people had registered with the app, which had millions of downloads from people wanting to learn more about cannabis. Thailand had legalised medicinal marijuana in 2018 for medical use only, but is now banking on developing it as a cash crop and building a lucrative local industry.
To be honest, that seems like quite forward thinking by the Thailand government in seeking to adopt a new cash crop as well as brave enough to wade through the murky waters of legalisation of this plant. Seems that they have taken the Dutch route to control the substance and not going the punishment route about it.
When will the rest of Asia follow suit? Lets find out and in the meantime, keep on the metta. Cheers!