Thursday, December 27, 2018

Thais vote for legal medical cannabis & kratom

Thailand legislature legalises medical cannabis and kratom - Al Jazeera:

December 25, 2018 - "Thailand's legislature has agreed to amend the country's drug law to allow the licensed medical use of cannabis, as well as kratom, a locally grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller. The Thai legislation on Tuesday passed its final reading at the National Legislative Assembly by a vote of 166-0 with 13 abstentions....

"The changes, which become law when published in the Royal Gazette, legalise the production, import, export, possession and use of cannabis and kratom products for medical purposes.

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

"Thailand is the first country to take such action in Southeast Asia, a region with some of the world’s strictest drug laws. The move is under consideration in neighbouring Malaysia, while New Zealand's government earlier this month enacted a law liberalising the medical use of cannabis, which had previously been tightly restricted.

"Recreational use of the drugs remains illegal in Thailand and subject to prison terms and fines....

"While countries from Colombia to Canada have legalised cannabis for medical or even recreational use, the drug remains illegal and taboo across much of Southeast Asia, which has some of the world’s harshest punishments for drug law violations. Cannabis traffickers can be subject to the death penalty in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

"Some said they hoped Tuesday's approval would pave the way for legalisation for recreational use.

"'This is the first baby step forward,' said Chokwan Chopaka, an activist with Highland Network, a cannabis legalization advocacy group in Thailand."

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