Khao San Road District Chief Insists Cannabis Sale Is Illegal

Phra Nakhon District Chief Wasan Boonmuenwai reiterated that street vendors are not allowed to sell cannabis or cannabis-based products as the activity is illegal.

Speaking after Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said he smelled cannabis while jogging near Phra Nakhon’s popular nightlife area Khao San Road, Mr. Wasan reminded residents that selling cannabis in public is prohibited by current law.

Street vendors who break the law can face criminal prosecution, he insisted. Mr. Wasan also urged public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul to ask the police and security forces to arrest all people caught selling cannabis and cannabis products on the street.

While district officials can’t arrest offenders, they can alert police if they discover someone making illegal cannabis sales in public areas, Mr. Wasan added.

In addition, Phra Nakhon district officials routinely dispatch inspectors from Thessakij to patrol Khao San Road from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. every day.

On both shifts, the police look out for people who smoke cannabis in public. Officers can charge people on the spot if they are found smoking in public.

For the second shift, military officers and agents from Chana Songkhram police are also sent to carry out inspections.

According to Mr. Wasan, the 200 street vendors on Khao San Road have licenses to sell food, clothing, drinks, accessories, and jewelry. However, inspectors discovered at least four stores that sell cannabis products.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok and Khao San Road Vendors Association’s president Yada Pornpetrampa said that the recent cannabis decriminalization was not benefiting but harming tourism.

Mr. Yada said that social media posts were made about tourists reportedly falling ill after smoking cannabis on Khao San Road.

Moreover, cannabis smoke can scare away tourists traveling as a family, as many parents criticize the measure because they do not want their children to be exposed to harmful substances.

Thailand decriminalized the cultivation and possession of marijuana if it has less than 0.2% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content on June 9, but the move has drawn mixed reviews.