THERE is a new beverage in town that has proven to be all the rage among Malaysian weekend visitors to Golok, Thailand: cannabis-laced drinks.
According to a Sinar Harian report, these beverages were being sold in town for as low as 17 to 25 THB (about RM2 to RM3) a bottle without restrictions to foreign tourists in all convenience stores in Golok.
A survey by Sinar Harian revealed that sales of these drinks beverages would spike during weekends with customers – mostly males – usually purchasing more than five bottles each time.
When quizzed by the Malay news portal, a convenient store staff said customers had described the beverage as “sedap” (delicious) and that it caused dizziness and gave a “trance-like” experience.
The staff said that customers had described the beverage as “sedap” (delicious) and that it caused dizziness and a bit of a mind-altering experience.
However, the staff was quick to admit that he had never tried the beverage before, saying with a laugh, “There’s no need to try [the drink] …there might be more bad than good effects.”
Sinar Harian further reported that the beverages were sold in bottles and carried designs that were specifically targeted at youths – especially those residing near the borders.
News that Thailand has become the first country in Asia to decriminalise cannabis nationwide on June 9 has become a matter of great concern especially among parents due to it being inexpensive and easily available.
A Malaysian who was visiting Golok similarly expressed concerns over the cannabis-laced beverage being sold openly as it could easily be mistaken for a regular soft drink.
“What’s more worrying is that it can cause addiction and worse, it can be purchased for as low as RM2 a bottle,” they said.
Speaking to Sinar Harian medical expert Dr Abu Hasan Samad said Malaysians should not be consuming cannabis-laced beverages as it was a product of an unregulated industry.
He further noted that the unregulated nature of the business might result in some producers adding other addictive substances into the beverage, adding that cannabis use can result in psychomotor impairment.
Meanwhile, independent criminologist Shahul Hamid Abdul Rahim also warned Malaysians against trying cannabis beverages to avoid running afoul with Malaysian laws.
Under the laws, a positive drug test at borders can result in action being taken under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952. This can result in a fine of up to RM5,000, a jail term of up to two years or both, he added. – Sept 28, 2022
Main photo credit: Nikkei Asia