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A weed hangover? Why Thailand’s having second thoughts about decriminalizing cannabis

Opening a cannabis dispensary wasn’t always top of the list of Wassaya Iemvijan’s ambitions. The former lawyer, from the Thai capital Bangkok, first turned to the plant as a form of “alternative care” to cope with stress and settle her mind.

“I struggled with depression for many years,” Iemvijan said. “It was weed that helped me… So when it was decriminalized, we decided to set up a shop.”

On June 9, 2022, – two days after Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to decriminalize cannabis. Iemvijan and her husband Nitikrist Attakrist, also a lawyer, registered for a licence to grow and sell the plant.

“We were under a lot of stress as lawyers,” Attakrist said. “We didn’t plan on setting up a cannabis shop but we did and we wanted to teach people how to get the best benefits as well as the responsibilities that come along with it.”

Over the past 12 months Thailand has seen a green rush, with cannabis dispensaries cropping up in cities and towns across the kingdom.

Access to cannabis has long been easy in the country but it was risky.

Northernmost Thailand sits on the notorious Golden Triangle, one of the world’s most successful drug producing regions. But pot was still illegal, with lengthy jail sentences for those who were caught.

[Read more at CNN]

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