Malaysians visiting Thailand are allowed to try consuming cannabis (ganja), but they are not allowed to bring home the substance, said Perlis police chief Surina Saad.
Surina said that those who were found returning with the substance, even if included a little in cakes or other foodstuff and drinks, would face legal consequences.
“We don’t have the power to prevent anyone from touring the neighbouring country and taking cannabis there but legal action can be taken under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 if returning with cannabis or under the influence of the drug.” she said.
“Personally, I advise Malaysians not to try taking ganja while in Thailand although it is allowed there as the habit of smoking it can be detrimental to health,” she added.
Surina also said she had asked the agencies at the border to increase inspections to ensure that no one would bring into Malaysia any psychoactive drug such as cannabis.
“Police will not hesitate to act against any individual violating the law, including the drug laws,” she said.
Cannabis legal in Thailand
In 2018, Thailand legalised the consumption of cannabis for medical use and is the first Southeast Asian nation to do so.
Back in May 2022, the Thai government even took a step further by distributing 1 million free cannabis plants to households across the nation to cultivate it.
Howver, the Thai health minister Anutin Charnvirakul clarified that the plant will have to be of medical grade and used exclusively for medicinal purposes. He added that it cannot be used for commercial purposes without further licenses.
Looking back in Malaysia
On 14 June, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that medical marijuana could soon be legalised in the country.
He said the Ministry of Health (MOH) will announce a framework this year to enable the registration of certain cannabidiol (CBD) products to be made available by prescription.
Malaysia MOH @KKMPutrajaya will introduce a framework this year to enable the registration of CBD products to be made available by prescription. Framework will outline regulatory process, education & training and share scientific data on use cases.— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) July 14, 2022
However, he said that Malaysia will not be making CBD products available for self-medicating purposes or over-the-counter even if legalised, adding that they can only be prescribed by a healthcare professional.
“For now, these CBD (products) will only be given under prescription, not for self-use or self-medication and especially not for the recreational use of cannabis. It will be limited to cannabidiol products only,” he said.
Khairy also said the framework will not include the cultivation of cannabis for now.