Teen drug users sentenced by army to make cremation flowers

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Military officers teach teenagers (not shown) caught using drugs how to make artificial flowers for HM the late King’s funeral.
Military officers teach teenagers (not shown) caught using drugs how to make artificial flowers for HM the late King’s funeral.

About a dozen teenagers caught using drugs were drafted by the military to make artificial flowers for HM the late King’s funeral.

The 13 youths, ages 17 and 18, avoided jail time by spending a week in “drug therapy” by making the corn-husk flowers at Photisampan Temple May 29-June 6.

Pattaya-area volunteers have been meeting at the temple four days a week since early April to make 10,000 flowers to be contributed to the Royal Household Bureau for the Oct. 23 cremation of HM King Bhumibol.

The week-long flower-making sentence was doled out by the National Council for Peace and Order’s Banglamung peace-maintenance force. The military said the youths participated “voluntarily”, although they had no choice in the matter, other than going to jail.

Soldiers were stationed at the temple to be sure the teens didn’t run off.