Monday, 18 March, 2019

Thailand’s legislature legalizes medical use of marijuana

THAILAND Thailand is first Southeast Asias country to legalize medical marijuana
Ben Pena | 28 December, 2018, 23:56

In a 166 to 0 vote, the National Legislative Assembly approved regulations that would let citizens use cannabis under medical supervision, and is expected to be implemented next year. Like many other legalized medical marijuana programs, purveyors, producers, and researchers will require specific licenses to handle pot-products; and consumers will require prescriptions. In Thailand, the recreational use of the drugs remains illegal and subject to fines and prison terms when found guilty.

As for India, under Section 20 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) cultivation, possession, use, sale/purchase, import/export, transportation and warehousing of cannabis.

Unfortunately, this legislation is still too hot off the presses to determine exactly how medical marijuana will be administered and overseen in Thailand. Marijuana traffickers caught in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia can face capital punishment.

Cannabis was classified as a traditional herb in Thailand until it was criminalized in the 1930s under the Cannabis Act, B.E. 2477 while the country was still known as Siam.

Thailand is the first country to take such action in Southeast Asia, a region with some of the world's strictest drug laws. The country has also legalised kratom, a kind of drug often used traditionally as a stimulant and painkiller.

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The new year could bring a new medical marijuana market in an unlikely place: Southeast Asia.

That passing the Amendment Bill to validate the use of marijuana for medical reasons in the country can be considered as New Year's gift for Thailand.

"This is the first baby step forward", said Chokwan Chopaka, an activist with Highland Network, a cannabis legalization advocacy group in Thailand.

Across the world, countries have been revisiting their marijuana laws.

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