Authorities worldwide give warnings after Thailand legalises weed

Those convicted of drug consumption in Singapore may be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000. PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK - Thailand's delisting of cannabis and hemp plants from the narcotics list has resulted in warnings from other countries, cautioning travellers against the possession or use of cannabis which is still illegal in many parts of the world.

Thai embassies in places like Indonesia, South Korea and Japan have also advised Thais against carrying cannabis or related products into those countries, as they can face jail time, heavy fines or even the death penalty if caught.

Meanwhile, countries such as Singapore and China have also reminded citizens abroad against cannabis use in any form.

"(Under) the Misuse of Drugs Act, any Singapore citizen or permanent resident found to have consumed controlled drugs outside Singapore will also be liable for the drug consumption offence," said Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), adding that checks are done regularly at various checkpoints.

Those convicted of drug consumption may be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $20,000.

In its response to The Straits Times on Thailand's cannabis legalisation, CNB said a strong push by parties with "vested interests" and "intense lobbying" has brought about more liberal drug laws in some countries.

But it rejected the viewpoint of proponents that cannabis is a "soft" drug with medical benefits.

CNB said scientific evidence has shown that cannabis is addictive and harmful, citing world bodies like the International Narcotics Control Board and studies that highlight the adverse effects of long-term cannabis use, such as increased risk of developing psychotic symptoms or schizophrenia.

Addressing the rise of cannabis edibles in other countries, like candies and cakes, CNB said these are "irresponsibly marketed as harmless consumables".

"The innocuous appearance of these products may entice unsuspecting youths to consume them, get intoxicated, and risk overdosing," it said.

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