Published: Fri, December 28, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Thailand’s legislature legalizes medical use of marijuana

Thailand’s legislature legalizes medical use of marijuana

Lawmaker Somchai Sawangkarn said the passing of an amendment to allow medical marijuana in the country "could be considered as a New Year gift to Thais".

Research is continuing to show that medical marijuana is an effective treatment option for treating conditions such as chronic pain, arthritis, and the side effects pertaining to aggressive treatments such as chemotherapy.

Thailand is the first country to take such action in Southeast Asia, a region with some of the world's strictest drug laws.

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.

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

Before this pro-pot political wave, there had been little tolerance for marijuana in Southeast Asia. Marijuana traffickers can face the death penalty in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, said that the sentence should be reviewed.

So can Malaysians go to Thailand to seek marijuana medical treatment
Thailand Gets Legalized Medical Marijuana As "New Year’s Gift"

The 45-year-old Pip Holmes, from Cornwall, says he asked a friend to send it to him while he was living in Bali to help his arthritis.

Unfortunately, this legislation is still too hot off the presses to determine exactly how medical marijuana will be administered and overseen in Thailand. Some Thai marijuana advocates wanted the government to insert protections against foreign companies receiving patents for cannabis, and allowing them to dominate the country's market.

Some Thai advocates hope that Tuesday's approval will pave the way for legalisation for recreational use.

This military drafted a national Constitution, which calls for Parliamentary elections early next year.

Thailand joins a wave of country's around the world reconsidering laws regarding cannabis use.

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