Thailand legalises cannabis for medicinal use as neighbouring countries still impose death penalty

Thailand legalises cannabis for medicinal use as neighbouring countries still impose death penalty
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ABOUT: Thailand has legalised cannabis for medicinal use in a region which has some of the the strictest drug laws in the world.The Thai government passed the new legislation today approving the use of medicinal marijuana and for its use in research.Marijuana was used in Thailand as a traditional medicine to relieve pain and fatigue, until it was banned in the 1930s.Using cannabis for recreational reasons will still be illegal.While countries from Colombia to Canada as well as certain states in the U.S.have legalised marijuana for medical or even recreational use, the drug remains illegal and taboo across much of South East Asia, which has some of the world’s harshest punishments for drug law violations.Marijuana traffickers can be subject to the death penalty in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.But in Thailand, the main controversy with legalisation involved patent requests by foreign firms that could allow them to dominate the market, making it harder for Thai patients to access medicines and for Thai researchers to access marijuana extracts.The junta-appointed parliament agreed to amend the country’s drug law to allow the licensed medical use of marijuana, as well as kratom – a locally grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller.Thailand is the first country in South East Asia to take such action, which is also under consideration in neighbouring Malaysia.New Zealand’s government earlier this month enacted a law liberalising the medical use of marijuana, which had previously been tightly restricted.Somchai Sawangkarn, chairman of the drafting committee, in a televised parliamentary session, said: ‘This is a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people.’ The law changes legalise the production, import, export, possession and use of marijuana and kratom products for medical purposes.Purveyors, producers and researchers will need licenses to handle the drugs,

Thailand legalises cannabis for medicinal use as neighbouring countries still impose death penalty