Thailand legislature legalises medical cannabis and kratom

Faith Castro
December 28, 2018

Marijuana was actually widely used in Thailand up to the 1930s as a traditional treatment of pain and fatigue.

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.

On Tuesday, Thailand legalised the use of marijuana for medical and research objective in the country.

Cannabis is legal for recreational use under many US jurisdictions, and was recently made available on prescription via the U.K. National Health Service.

The junta-appointed parliament in Thailand has voted to amend the Narcotic Act of 1979 on Tuesday in an extra parliamentary session handling a rush of bills before the New Year's holidays.

A parliamentary committee member said the decision was "a New Year's gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people".

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Although cannabis users will be permitted to carry only prescribed amounts as stipulating by their existing conditions, users would also need to show proper certificates to authorities, with both production and retail sales of cannabis will be heavily controlled by the government. Kratom is a Thai plant traditionally used as a stimulant and as a painkiller.

Do you think more countries should legalize medical marijuana? The drug is fully legalized for recreational use in Canada and Uruguay, while it has always been decriminalized for personal use in the Netherlands.

However, Southeast Asia remains an area where breaking cannabis laws is met with often draconian punishment.

Though many countries have eased up law to use cannabis for medicinal purposes, Canada, Uruguay and South Africa are the only 3 countries where the use of recreational cannabis is legal.

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.

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