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American apologises for blowing pot smoke around Bangla

PHOTOS: Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูลภูเก็ต Phuket Info Center

An American man has apologised for using a ‘smoke’ machine to blow cannabis smoke around Bangla Road in Patong. The incident was captured on video, which subsequently went viral. The clip prompted outrage, with some netizens calling for cannabis to re-criminalised.

Weerawit Krueasombat, the president of the Patong Entertainment Business Association, had claimed that the American was promoting his new cannabis shop near Phuket Airport, in the northern Thalang district.

However, while speaking to police, the 49 year old American denied he has any business in Thailand, insisting he is a tourist. He says the filmed stunt was actually a promotion for his cannabis shop overseas.

“I am very sorry for what I have done; I did not know the rules, I still love Thailand. I thought cannabis and anything associated with it was fully legal.”

According to the Phuket Express, police visited the unnamed American at his hotel (also unnamed) near Bangla Road on Saturday, August 19, the day after the smoke machine stunt.

Sujin Nilbody, chief of Patong Police, says officers told the American his behaviour was unacceptable and “shocking” to many Thais. The tourist was also told he had hurt the “family-friendly” image of Bangla Road…

The police have not said if they plan to take any further action against the American, who it’s understood has now left the country. Some people have speculated that a local cannabis business was behind the stunt, with the foreigner taking the rap to avoid any crackdown on the business in question.

With the video going viral on social media, some cannabis critics have renewed calls for the plant to be re-criminalised. Others point out that the issue highlights the need for proper regulation and laws to be passed through Parliament as a matter of priority.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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