Can you get drugs in Koh Samui?
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Can you get drugs in Koh Samui?

Yes. Yes you CAN get drugs in Koh Samui. (but don’t)

Hmmmmm… at the risk of being vague, the answer to this particular question depends entirely on your meaning of the word ‘drugs’!

Yes… you CAN get drugs in Samui… but the risks involved make it a dumb thing to do. If you get caught with any… or have to give a urine test which turns out to be positive… you are in for a life-altering experience… if you are lucky it will only end-up with a short time in a cell and a huge fine… but if you are caught with enough to label you as a dealer, then prepare yourself for the nightmare that will come. Either way you won’t be needing that return-flight ticket back home. Seriously!

To simplify things let’s split ‘drugs’ into 2 main categories… (1) Pharmaceutical (ie: prescription/legal) drugs… and (2) illegal ‘recreational’ drugs.

So… as regards prescription drugs i.e. drugs that have been prescribed for a recognised medical, physical, psychological (etc) problem, the short answer is ‘Yes’.

In fact, many of the drugs that you would ordinarily need a prescription for in (for example) the U.K. you can get straight over the counter in many pharmacies here. If you end-up needing a doctor’s prescription for the meds you need then a simple visit to a doctor’s clinic or local hospital would usually be able to sort that out for you… and may actually be able to dispense your meds right there for you. BUT… there will be a cost involved, and that cost could well vary significantly from hospital to hospital… clinic to clinic, and, indeed, pharmacy to pharmacy.

Whilst on the topic of prescription drugs you need to be aware that some prescribed meds in (for example) the U.K. may actually present you with a problem if you try to bring them into Thailand… and – depending on the particular drug – it could be a BIG problem… so do your research before you bring any prescription drugs into the country with you when you come here. Some may be allowed if you have the relevant paperwork, but some may not. The rules can change frequently so you will need to keep up to date with what is, and isn’t allowed.

Ok… and on to (2) which is probably the information that may spark the biggest interest, illegal drugs… can you get them? Well OF COURSE you can! Weed, speed, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, opium, ecstasy etc. etc. yup… they are all available here… IF you know the ‘right’ people… and IF the person you are buying from is not a (a) under-cover cop, or (b) someone who is working on behalf of the local cops (to mitigate their own problems with the police) Oh yes… it’s all available here….

BUT…

You would be an absolute idiot to even THINK about trying to buy an illegal drug here in Thailand. Seriously… you have absolutely NO IDEA what you could be getting yourself into!
They don’t execute ‘drug smugglers’ here any more, but if you are caught with an amount that would class you as a ‘smuggler with intent to sell’ then you can say goodbye to the life you have lived before! Life sentences (50 years) are regularly given to ‘traffickers’… and no ‘sob-story’ or argument about how ‘… it’s legal back in my home country’… is going to make a difference… although it might give the arresting officers a good laugh!

Although the law regarding marijuana may well be in the process of changing, and de-criminalising Weed/Ganja could be a real possibility in the relatively near future, the current reality is that it is illegal to buy, sell, possess, smoke, eat etc, so don’t… just DON’T! Even being caught with relatively small amounts of smoke, coke, or whatever will still be a life-changing event for you and your family and friends! At the very (VERY) least it is going to cost you serious amounts of money (thousands of dollars) and time! In most cases you can wave your return flight back home goodbye, as it could be some time before you are in a position to leave the country! Cases can take months (and months) to actually get to court, and although you may get bail (usually BIG money!) you will probably have your passport taken away (and registered on immigration computers, so no escape out of the country even if they don’t take your passport!) That said, there is also the distinct possibility that you could be kept locked-up in a Thai prison until your case comes up.

It used to be said that a ‘small bribe’ would be enough to get you out of trouble when caught with a couple of grams of hash… nope… sorry to burst your bubble, but it just doesn’t happen like that anymore… for real!

Believe me… please! You do NOT want to spend time in a Thai prison! And think of the heartache and worry you will cause for your family ‘back home’… and all for a joint, or a line… seriously… it just ain’t worth it.

NOTE: The Royal Thai police are also known to lock-down popular nightclubs and bars and have everyone give a urine sample for ‘on the spot’ drug testing! So… there you are… having a great time at 1am in a buzzing club and/or bar… just had a line… or dropped an ‘E’ or 2… or had a smoke earlier on… and BOOM! ALL entry and exit doors are closed and manned by police… lights come on… you see 20, 30 or more police and immigration officers… and get told to line-up… forget about your ‘buzzing night’… your life is just about to change… and NOT for the better! This is the reality. IT JUST ISN’T WORTH IT!

9 good reasons NOT to buy illegal drugs in Koh Samui

  1. Police raids on clubs and bars are becoming more common… and your urine sample will be tested on the spot for ANY illegal drugs
  2. Beach sellers offering drugs for sale are often working a ‘sting’ for police (usually to lessen their own charges!)
  3. You really don’t have any idea of the quality of whatever you buy… or what your purchase has been cut with!
  4. If you are lucky you may get away with a short term in prison and a massive fine… IF you are lucky!
  5. Busting foreigners is a big plus for police and helps them career-wise… busting YOU could well mean a promotion for the police involved! Well done!
  6. Although there is a lot of nonsense written about Thai prisons, the simple fact is that they are incredibly basic… cells packed with 60 or more prisoners… sleeping on the floor… basic Thai meals unless you have money to buy stuff from the prison shop… surrounded by people who’s language you don’t speak… squat toilets… … are you getting the message?
  7. The Embassy can do little more than give you a list of lawyers for you to choose one to represent you (they are not even allowed to recommend one!) and to inform your family ‘back home’ of your arrest and imprisonment. They will NOT get involved with the Thai legal system in ANY way whatsoever!
  8. Medical care is available if you have any medical issues, but the word ‘basic’ (in its purest sense) is what I would describe it as!
  9. Mental health problems are not dealt with in the same way as ‘back home’… expect very basic help – if any at all.

On the (slightly) more positive side of being caught with illegal drugs in Thailand… if you survive the prison time then you’ll have some great stories to put in the book you will write about your experiences! Oh… I forgot… that’s already been done… many times!

So… in short… are (illegal) drugs available in Samui? Yup… sure are. BUT… you would have to be a total idiot to look for and buy them. You have been warned… don’t… just DON’T! Ok?

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Written by Alan Brewis

Since arriving in Samui over 20 years ago bike freak Alan has been ordained a Buddhist monk, worked with the Royal Thai police, been a volunteer for Samui Rescue and started @bonsaisamui, @samuifireworks & @samuitv.

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