Drugs Offenses & Narcotic Charges

Drug Offenses and Narcotic Charges

Drug-related offences are strictly governed by the law of Thailand which is stipulated under the Measure for Suppressing Narcotic Offenders Act of 1991. There are two important laws that cover such offences, the Narcotic Act of 1979 and the Psychotropic Substances Act of 1975.

Thailand is known for its strict implementation of the laws suppressing and criminalizing the abuse of narcotics and drugs. There are cases where foreigners disregard such law and were penalized for using or carrying the substances. In order to protect yourself you must educate yourself regarding the laws of Thailand since in some aspects, Thai law is quite different from the laws in the western part of the world and other countries.

Difference Between The Two acts

1. Psychotropic Substances Act defines the term means any psychotropic substance which is a natural substance or is derived from a natural substance or any psychotropic substance which is synthetic substance as notified by the Minister in the Government Gazette which is classified into 4 categories, known in the Act as Schedules:

  • Schedule I – psychotropic substances with no medical use and have a high potential for abuse.
  • Schedule II – psychotropic substances with current medical use and have a potential for abuse.
  • Schedule III – psychotropic substances with current medical use and have a potential or a tendency for abuse.
  • Schedule IV – psychotropic substances with current medical use and have a lower potential or tendency for abuse than the substances listed in Schedule III.

2. Narcotics Act narcotics as defined under the act means any form of chemicals or substances which, upon being consumed whether by taking orally, inhaling, smoking, injecting, or by whatever means, causes physiological or mental effects in a significant manner such as the need for a continual increase of dosage, having withdrawal symptoms when deprived of the narcotics, strong physical and mental need of dosage and the health, in general, being deteriorated, and also includes plant or parts of plants which are or give the product as narcotics or may be used to produce narcotics and chemicals used for the production of such narcotics as notified by the Minister in the Government Gazette, but excludes certain formulas of household medicine under the law on drugs that contain narcotic ingredients. Section 7 of the Narcotics Act classified the Narcotics into 5 categories:

  • category I consist of dangerous narcotics such as heroin;
  • category II consists of ordinary narcotics such as morphine, cocaine, codeine, medicinal opium;
  • category III consists of narcotics which are in the form of medicinal formula and contain narcotics of category II as ingredients in accordance with the rules prescribed by the Ministerand published in the Government Gazette;
  • category IV consists of chemicals used for producing narcotics of category I or category II suchas acetic anhydride, acetyl chloride;
  • category V consists of narcotics that are not included in category I to category IV such asmarijuana, kratom plant.

Provided that the names of narcotics shall be specified by the Minister in accordance with Section 8. For the purpose of this Section, medicinal opium means processed opium to be used for medicinal Purposes.

Defamation Claims

For Schedule 1 and 2 Substances:
- Imprisonment of 5-20 years and a fine of 100,000-400,000 Baht for production, importation or exportation sale
- Imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and a fine not exceeding 100,000 Baht for carrying across borders
- Imprisonment of 1-5 years and a fine of 20,000-100,000 Baht for possession, use or consumption

For Schedule 3 and 4 Substances:
- Imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and a fine not exceeding 100,000 Baht for production, importation or exportation sale
- Imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and a fine not exceeding 100,000 Baht for carrying across borders
- Imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding 20,000 Baht or both for possession, use or consumption

Under the provisions of the Narcotics Act, the penalties are as follows:

For Category 1 Substances:

Up to life imprisonment and a fine of 1,000,000-5,000,000 Baht for production, importation or exportation, unless for the purpose of disposal, in which case the penalty is death. The intention to 'dispose' is inferred through quantities defined in the Act

Up to life imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 – 5,000,000 Baht, or the death penalty, (depending upon the amount of the substance or substances found) for disposal or possession for the purpose of disposal

Up to 10 years imprisonment or a fine of 20,000 – 200,000 Baht for possession. Note again that if the quantity of the substance or substances found exceeds prescribed levels in the act, then possession for the purpose of disposal will be inferred. It should also be noted that 'disposal' is defined in the act as meaning to 'sell, distribute, give away indiscriminately, exchange or give

Up to 3 years imprisonment or a fine of 10,000 – 60,000 Baht for consumption

For Category 2 Substances:

-
Up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 – 1,000,000 Baht for production, importation or exportation. If the substance or substances found include morphine, opium or cocaine the penalty is increased to imprisonment of 20 years to life and fine of 2,000,000 – 5,000,000 Baht

- Up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of 20,000 – 200,000 Baht or both for disposal or possession for the purpose of disposal. In the case of morphine, opium or cocaine, 3-20 years or a fine of 60,000 – 400,000 Baht if the amount is under 100 grams, or 3-20 years or a fine of 500,000 – 5,000,000 Baht if over

- Up to 5 years or a fine not exceeding 100,000 Baht or both for possession. If the quantity is 100 grams of a pure substance or more, this will be regarded as possession for the purpose of disposal

- Six months to three years or a fine of 10,000 – 60,000 Baht or both for consumption

For Cannabis Under Category 5:

-
From 2-15 years imprisonment and a fine of 200,000 – 1,500,000 Baht for production, importation or exportation
- From 2-10 years imprisonment or a fine of 40,000 – 200,000 Baht or both for disposal or possession for the purpose of disposal. If the quantity is over 10 kilograms, the penalty is increased to a maximum of 15 years and a fine of 200,000 – 1,500,000 Baht
- Imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and or a fine not exceeding 100,000 Baht or both for possession
- Imprisonment not exceeding 1 year and a fine of 100,000 – 1,000,000 for consumption

For Kratom Plant Under Category 5:

- Imprisonment not exceeding 2 years and a fine not exceeding 200,000 Baht for production, importation or exportation
- Imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding 40,000 Baht or both for disposal or possession for the purpose of disposal. If the quantity is over 10 kilograms, the penalty is imprisonment not exceeding 2 years and a fine not exceeding 200,000 Baht
- Imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding 20,000 Baht or both for possessionImprisonment not exceeding 1 month or a fine not exceeding 2,000 Baht for consumption 

Summary

Juslaws & Consult have handled numerous drugs and narcotics-related cases and we are confident to say that we have always handled such cases with success. If you require further information or consultation with us regarding the above-mentioned matter, we will be happy to discuss it with you. Please do not hesitate to contact us.