"Free cannabis": Thailand gives away cannabis seeds to low-income farmers

Thailand’s health minister kicked off a cannabis giveaway Friday, handing out the first 100 seedlings of a planned distribution of 1 million plants a day after the country legalized cultivation and possession of the drug.

Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who has been the driving force behind legalization, presided over the giveaway at a fair and exhibition held in the northeastern province of Buriram, a stronghold of his Bhumjai Thai party.

Anutin has touted growing cannabis as a way to increase farmers’ incomes.

His party draws heavily on the support of low-income farmers in the largely agricultural northeast. He was cheered by a crowd of thousands as he gave a speech taking credit for legalizing cannabis, which he said would bring financial benefits to “individual growers, community farmers, and entrepreneurs.”

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