Published: Fri, December 28, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

Thailand approves medical cannabis as 'New Years gift'

Thailand approves medical cannabis as 'New Years gift'

Though kratom was traditionally used as medicine, Thailand banned the plant under the Kratom Act, B.E. 2846 in 1946.

Thailand on Tuesday became the first country in Southeast Asia to take such action, which is also under consideration in neighbouring Malaysia.

A man in Malaysia was given the death sentence for selling cannabis oil to the sick back in August.

Although medical marijuana is now a legal treatment option for conditions such as chronic pain, chemotherapy side-effects, epilepsy, glaucoma, and more, Thailand still will be retaining its penalty for recreational use, which can range up to 5 years in prison for possessing less than 10 kilograms of cannabis.

Purveyors, producers and researchers will need licences to handle the drugs, while end-users will need prescriptions.

According to CNN, all 166 members of the National Legislative Assembly voted in favour of the amendment to the country's Narcotics Bill, which allows the use of medical marijuana in the country. However, recreational use of both of the drugs remain illegal and is subject to either imprisonment and or a hefty fine. Most recently, Britain started allowing physicians to prescribe cannabis for medical use to their patients last month.

Additionally, there has been some controversy over the medical marijuana program, but for fairly surprising reasons.

Reuters, however, reported that the controversies surrounding the patent requests made by foreign companies have not died down, citing fears of a monopoly on the Thai pharmaceutical market that will potentially make it more hard for Thai patients to access marijuana-related medicine as well as for Thai researchers to study extracts of marijuana strains.

The bill, which still outlaws recreational use and has strict limits on the amount an individual can carry, requires royal assent to come into law, said National Assembly member Jet Sirathronont.

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

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

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