Health Care

Medical use of marijuana legalised in Thailand

Medical use of marijuana legalised in Thailand”

Thailand has legalised marijuana for medical use and research becoming the first country in Southeast Asia.

The National Legislative Assembly's 166 members voted in favour of the change and there were no votes objecting to the motion.

Under the new law, the production, export, import, possession, and use of cannabis for medicinal purposes will be legal in Thailand, though licenses will be required on the production and distribution side, and patients will need to obtain a prescription from a licensed physician. However, recreational use of both of the drugs remain illegal and is subject to either imprisonment and or a hefty fine.

While countries across the world have legalized cannabis in some form this year, taboo stigmas are still pervasive in Southeast Asia. The region has some of the world's toughest penalties for drug law violations, with marijuana traffickers potentially facing the death penalty in nearby countries like Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The measure requires approval by Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, according to The New York Times.

Additionally, a British man told the BBC earlier this month that he faced up to 15 years in an Indonesian prison after he was arrested with cannabis oil that he used to treat chronic arthritic pain.

Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Thailand.

The legalisation of marijuana is not without controversy as some foreign firms have requested patent that will allow them to dominate the market and will make it harder for Thai patients to access medicines and for Thai researchers to access marijuana extracts.

"We're going to demand that the government revoke all these requests before the law takes effect", Panthep Puapongpan, dean of the Rangsit Institute of Integrative Medicine and Anti-Aging, was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Here's to the new year and to yet another country allowing medicinal use of marijuana!

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