Illegal Drug Use in Thailand

Thailand’s Harsh Stance on Illegal Drug Use

Illegal drugs in Thailand are not nearly the problem that they might be had the ruling parties not done all they could do to eradicate it. There is still a huge problem here but I think it could be much worse. At various times over the last decade there have been efforts to target drug dealers and users which have resulted in shootings in the streets! There were nearly (estimated) 2000 people killed during the last time Thai police had a crackdown on drugs.

Thai citizens don’t seem to mind so much – there are not any major protests…  the real death toll figures come out after some time has passed… months…. There are some newspaper articles about it.

On an small level – a farang that uses illegal drugs here and is caught may be given the opportunity to pay a fine to the arresting officers and be on his or her merry way. Maybe. Maybe not. If they want to prosecute you good they will – to the full extent of the law. At your trial you will be found guilty as Thailand has a very low tolerance for anyone using or transporting drugs within their country.

Here is a part of the Thailand information sheet the US Government Department of State released relating to Thailand’s policy on illegal drugs:

Penalties for the possession of, use of, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Thailand are severe.  Convicted offenders can expect long prison sentences under harsh conditions, and often heavy fines as well.  Thailand also has a death penalty for serious drug offenses, and has executed convicted traffickers.  The U.S. Embassy frequently does not learn of the arrest of U.S. citizens for minor drug offenses, particularly in southern Thailand, until several days after the incident.

Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Thai police occasionally raid discos, bars, or nightclubs looking for underage patrons and drug users.  During the raids, they typically check the IDs of all customers in the establishment, and then make each person provide a urine sample to be checked for narcotics.  Foreigners are not excused from these checks, and anyone whose urine tests positive for drugs is arrested and charged.  Although someThai civil libertarians have questioned the constitutionality of these forced urine tests, the Embassy is unaware of any successful challenge to the practice, and customers can be jailed if they do not cooperate.

Where can you find drugs? Almost anywhere, though of course Bangkok, Pattaya, and Patong Beach would be the best places to start. Thais use drugs too – methamphetamine probably being the most popular and pervasive drug, called by Thais, “Ya-Ba”. Which means “crazy medicine”.

Here are some books by people that have been caught transporting drugs in Thailand and their nightmare in Thai jails:

Here is a Thai boy’s blog about prison life. He was put in jail numerous times for drug use and can’t seem to shake it. Brit, Richard Barrow has created a web site for him and helped him write a book about his drug and prison experience in Thailand.

Gor’s warning to foreigners about drugs in Thailand:

Please don’t even consider taking or dealing in drugs while in Thailand. Penalties are harsh even for minor drugs. You could easily get life or a death sentence. People serving long sentences are sent to the infamous Bang Kwang Prison or Klong Prem Prison which are far harsher than this one. You have been warned! Don’t join the thousands of foreigners already in Thai prisons.

prison photos, articles, richard barrow’s friend – thai guy

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