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r/CannabisThailand Newsletter - Issue #67
It's time to debunk a myth common amongst foreigners here in Thailand: Not all Thais celebrated cannabis legalization. Their caution might surprise many, but it seems to be rooted in their limited exposure to the herb prior to last year (plus a lifetime of anti-drug propaganda).
They weren’t necessarily against it but Thai attitudes tend to betray a more cautious attitude.
A BMC study highlighted that only 2.4% of Thais had used cannabis in the previous 12-months pre-legalization (which is actually up from 1% from the pre-Covid period), a stark contrast to the 14.5% in North America.
It's worth noting that Thai polling includes CBD and CBD infused drinks in their definition of cannabis, a nuance often overlooked in Western contexts where cannabis use opinion polls usually focus on THC forms of cannabis.
While Thai cannabis experimentation has grown considerably post-legalization, the caution many Thais feel reflects a genuine unfamiliarity with cannabis culture and a modern understanding of the plant.
Yet, their recognition of its medicinal properties is undeniable. The surge of locals in government cannabis clinics post-legalization speaks volumes.
This is one reason why you keep hearing the word “medicinal”, even from cannabis advocates like Anutin.
Though Anutin was the architect of legalization in Thailand, he’s always insisted that cannabis only be used for medicinal purposes, and decried recreational use, despite setting the stage in a way that pretty much allowed recreational use.
Anutin and many others know that Thais, generally, seem okay with medicinal use but less enthusiastic about recreational use, so they frame their messaging based on that.
Cultural shifts don't happen overnight. The West's evolving perspective on cannabis was influenced over decades by exposure to cannabis socially and in the media and arts.
Thailand is currently on a transformative journey too. We need to respect that they’re starting from a different place.
Change is scary. If you’ve had it hammmered into you your entire life that meth, heroin, and cannabis are all equally “bad” drugs you don’t suddenly become enlightened on cannabis simply because it’s been legalized.
If it makes people feel less anxious to call it “medicinal” then so be it.
If we want to be good amabasadors for cannabis, we need to meet people where they are, not where we wish they were.
Don’t forget that we’ve partnered with some dispensaries for exclusive deals available to members of this newsletter and the r/CannabisThailand sub on Reddit. Just type “Dank Deal” into the comments of any post and the AutoMod will send you the current discounts being offered.
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