Thai Cannabis Laws and Youth Exploitation

By Thailand THC

thailandTHC > News > Thai Cannabis Laws and Youth Exploitation

  • Why It Matters: The ongoing arrests related to cannabis sales to minors highlight significant gaps in regulatory frameworks intended to protect youths in Thailand.
  • The Big Picture: While cannabis is often touted for its medical benefits and economic potential, incidents of illegal sales to minors create a substantial public health concern and challenge the narrative of safe cannabis integration into society.
  • Driving The News: Recent raids by Thai authorities in provinces like Khon Kaen and Chonburi expose the clandestine operations targeting vulnerable schoolchildren.

KHON KAEN, THAILAND – Thai authorities are intensifying efforts to curb the illegal cannabis trade, particularly focusing on protecting minors from being targeted by unscrupulous dealers. This crackdown follows several incidents where cannabis was sold directly to students as young as 14, prompting a nationwide call for tighter controls and awareness.

On April 21, 2024, under the supervision of KHAIROS KONG, the governor of Khon Kaen, law enforcement officials detained several individuals accused of selling cannabis to minors. The raids were conducted in collaboration with local health officials, underscoring the government’s commitment to enforcing child protection laws.

The operations were triggered by community reports of a shop in Khon Kaen’s Kranuan district, where cannabis was allegedly sold to schoolchildren, blatantly flouting Thai law. During the raid, officials apprehended PHAKSANAN THONGSA, a shop owner, who was allegedly caught selling cannabis to two boys aged 14 and 16. The authorities seized cannabis rolled into joints, which were prepared for sale.

According to the reports, the shop had been under surveillance following tips from concerned citizens. The evidence gathered led to charges under the Child Protection Act, which prohibits selling controlled herbs like cannabis to individuals under 20 years old, highlighting a serious legal and ethical breach.