How to legalize and start exporting adult-use cannabis

Under international law, Thailand (and any other nation) CAN legalize ganja and ganjong for any use, and trade that ganja and ganjong with other nations, simply by following a new path. Other nations are already exploring this path. By joining them, Thailand will increase its public health and welfare, reduce its illegal drug trade, increase its exports and GDP, and improve the lives of every Thai person. Thailand’s government can step onto this path simply by deciding, as a matter of policy, to do so.

The name of this path is “Inter Se Modification.”[1]

This document describes the path’s beginning, the path’s end, and the path’s journey.

The Path’s Beginning: Where We Are

Today, international drug law is defined by the United Nations’ Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Under that Convention, the plant Cannabis sativa L. (which includes ganja and ganjong) is falsely categorized as a “dangerous drug with no known medical uses.”

This false categorization requires all UN member nations to:

  • Regulate (with complex and expensive rules, paperwork, and procedures) the use of ganja and ganjong for medical and/or scientific purposes;
  • Prohibit the use of ganja and ganjong for any other purpose; and to
  • Arrest and punish anyone who cultivates, sells, or uses ganja or ganjong outside those rules.

In the years after the Convention became international law, the world’s scientists have learned what Thailand’s culture always knew:

  • Ganja offers many medicinal and social benefits;
  • Ganjong is a source of valuable industrial fiber and edible seeds; and
  • The “prohibit and punish” policy imposed by the Convention never achieves its stated goals, instead always moving the world farther from achieving those goals.

The Path’s End: Where We’re Going

Many of the world’s nations share the same goals: to increase their public health and welfare; to reduce their illegal drug trade; to replace the failed policy of “prohibit and punish” with the successful policy of “harm reduction;” to legalize ganja and ganjong for other uses; to simplify the regulation of ganja and ganjong; and to trade ganja and ganjong internationally.

Achieving these goals would liberate the Thai people to practice their wise and ancient culture; increase the incomes of Thailand’s farmers, factory workers, freight handlers, financiers, and everyone else; free otherwise-innocent cannabis farmers, transporters, sellers, and users from prison; reduce the use of dangerous illegal drugs that became popular only because cannabis was prohibited; increase Thailand’s exports and GDP; and thus improve the lives of every Thai person.

Other nations have found a path that will achieve these goals for their own people. These nations have verified that this path can be followed without swimming across an ocean or jumping off a cliff. The path is not easy – no path worth following is easy! – but they are confident that, by following this path together, they can achieve their shared goals.

It is time for Thailand to join them on that path.

The Path’s Journey: How We Get There

Rather than trying to change the Convention – which is, in effect, impossible – the path involves establishing an “Inter Se Modification” which operates in parallel with the Convention but applies only to the nations that have signed that Modification.

Getting on this path is simple. Thailand’s government need only:

  1. Establish the policy goal of participating in the informal international negotiations that are – right now! – defining of the Modification;
  2. Dedicate diplomatic staff to participating in those negotiations;
  3. Commit to signing the resulting Modification if certain conditions are met (for example, that Thailand’s exclusive right to the name “Thai Stick” is recognized and enforced by the Modification’s signatories, and that the Modification does not unfairly disadvantage outdoor-grown ganja).
  4. Sign the Modification when negotiations have been completed.
  5. Pass domestic Thai laws and regulations to implement the Modification’s provisions.
  6. Start trading cannabis only with nations that have signed the Modification.

Some nations have been discussing the Modification informally for more than a year. The first international conference of nations to start formal negotiations expected to be convened later this year. Negotiations could be completed by the end of next year.

Thailand’s new laws and regulations, implementing the Modification’s provisions, could be in force by the middle of 2564BE/2021CE – that is, just two years from now.

Conclusion: Thailand CAN legalize and export ganja

Thailand can immediately legalize ganja and ganjong for adult use (as Uruguay, Canada, Luxembourg, and many of the USA’s states, have done). This is illegal under the Convention. However, it could be made legal retroactively by having Thailand negotiate, sign, and implement the provisions of a Modification as described above. That Modification would allow Thailand to legalize ganja and ganjong however it wished, and to trade ganja and ganjong with other signatories of the Modification.

Vision of the Thai Cannabis Corporation

A sustainable global cannabis industry with Thailand at its center, in which Thailand captures its fair share of the global cannabis industry’s profits; improves its GDP; enhances its employment opportunities; respects its environment; continues its tradition of innovation in cannabis through R&D and education; enables its manufacturers to penetrate new markets; and improves the lives of cannabis farmers in Thailand and beyond.

[1]Inter se” (IN-ter-SAY) from Latin, translates to “between us” (in Thai, “ระหว่างเรา แต่ไม่มีใครอื่น”).

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