Thailand Breaks Medical Marijuana Barrier In Southeast Asia

Ebony Scott
December 28, 2018

According to CNN, all 166 members of the National Legislative Assembly voted in favour of the amendment to the country's Narcotics Bill, which allows the use of medical marijuana in the country. Kratom is sometimes taken to treat anxiety, opioid addiction, depression and other conditions, but is also used recreationally for its mild psychotropic effects.

In what its legislators are calling a "gift" to the country, Thailand has officially approved medical marijuana for usage and research.

The changes, which become law when published in the Royal Gazette, legalize the production, import, export, possession and use of marijuana and kratom products for medical purposes.

The move positions Thailand as the first Southeast Asian country to legalize cannabis use, which is significant, as the region maintains some of the harshest drug laws in the world.

Earlier this year, a man in Malaysia was given a death sentence for selling cannabis oil. Producers, purveyors, and researchers would need licenses to handle the drugs, whereas the end-users will need prescriptions. Marijuana traffickers caught in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia can face capital punishment. 13 members remained away from the voting process.

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Marijuana was actually widely used in Thailand up to the 1930s as a traditional treatment of pain and fatigue.

Notably, recreational use of the drugs still remains illegal and subject to prison terms and fines commensurate with the quantities involved.

Lukman's case acted as a catalyst for the reassessment of medicinal cannabis legal in the country. In the Unites States, medical marijuana is legal in 30 states, though the laws governing what's permitted vary from state to state.

A few months after it was announced that Thailand would be amending its current laws to legalise medical marijuana, the country's interim parliament just voted on the issue this week.

Other reports by GizPress

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