Thailand is the First in Southeast Asia to Legalise Medical Marijuana

Kenny Tucker
December 28, 2018

The new legislation passed its final reading in the Assembly on Tuesday with a vote of 166-0 with 13 abstentions. Kratom is a Thai plant traditionally used as a stimulant and as a painkiller.

In the United Kingdom, the government approved medical marijuana earlier this year and became available on 1 November to patients with a prescription. It would definitely take years and lots of research (and taxpayer's money) on the medical usage of marijuana for it to be approved on our soil.

While many South-east Asian nations are known for having strict laws against drug use and possession, Thailand has chose to approve the use of marijuana for medical and research purposes on Tuesday (25 Dec), which marks the first instance in which the use of a recreational drug is legalised in the region. In Malaysia, a man who sold cannabis oil to patients received the death sentence, although the countries Prime Minister later said that the sentence should be reviewed. Producers, purveyors, and researchers would need licenses to handle the drugs, whereas the end-users will need prescriptions.

Recreational cannabis is still illegal in Thailand and penalties for its production, distribution, sale, and use remain unchanged.

A Thai activist with a marijuana tattoo on his face gathers with others during a campaign for the legalisation of medical marijuana near Government House in Bangkok Thailand Nov 20 2018.. REUTERS  Panumas Sanguanwong
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The bill introducing the legislative changes had noted that recent studies have shown that cannabis extract has medicinal benefits, which has prompted "many countries around the world to ease their laws by enacting legal amendments to allow their citizens to legally use kratom and marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes".

Cannabinoids include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive element of weed) and cannabidiol (CBD, which is used for pain relief and produces no high).

Foreign firms are requesting patent and this is becoming a controversy in the country.

In October, Canada became the second largest country in the world to legalize the possession and consumption of recreational cannabis.

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