Col Pichetphong Jengkhaikom, Deputy Superintendent of Tourist Police Region 3 led the foray along Phuket’s premier party street, joined by Kathu District Chief Siwat Rawarangkul and Patong Police Chief Col Sujin Nilabadee.
Also present were health officers from Patong Municipality, administrative officers from Kathu District Office and local police.
Col Pichetphong explained that any persons found breaking the law will be charged.
“The Ministry of Public Health issued an announcement on June 16 confirming that cannabis is a controlled herb that any person can now study, research, export, sell or process.
“However, they must apply for permission from the provincial public health office first, otherwise it will be an offense under Section 78 of the Act on Protection and Promotion of Thai Traditional Medicine, B.E.,” he added.
Breach of Section 78 incurs a fine of up to B20,000 or up to one year imprisonment, or both, he noted.
His office had received a letter on Tuesday (July 26) instructing police chiefs to prosecute those found breaking the law by not having the required permits, Col Pichetphong explained.
The Ministry of Public Health has since recalled its urgent letter sent to the Royal Thai Police asking them to take legal action against those who failed to seek permits related to the use of cannabis.
However, Royal Thai Police (RTP) spokesman Pol Maj Gen Yingyot Thepjamnong said there are certain issues the RTP has to clarify with the Ministry of Public Health in regard to the letter.
He said the national police chief found contradictions that must be addressed.
“To prevent public confusion and ensure effective enforcement, the national police chief has asked the RTP’s Law and Litigation Office to straighten some issues out with the ministry,” Maj Gen Yingyot said.
Meanwhile, police on Bangla Rd last night reported no legal action against any operators found with cannabis products.