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Medical use of marijuana legalised in Thailand

Medical use of marijuana legalised in Thailand

This could block Thai patients from accessing the medicine while also limiting Thai researchers keen on studying the drug.

Recreational marijuana continues to be illegal in Thailand, and possession of 10 kilograms or less of the drug is punishable by five years in prison.

166 members of the assembly voted in favour of the amendment and 13 members restrained from voting.

New Zealand's government earlier this month enacted a law liberalising the medical use of marijuana, which had previously been tightly restricted.

A few other Asian countries are also considering legalizing medical marijuana, so perhaps this will be the first domino to fall in a series of countries making marijuana reforms.

"This is a New Year's gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people", Somchai Sawangkarn, chairman of the drafting committee said.

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The Thai legislature approved a bill that legalizes medical marijuana in the country.

Thailand has legalized the cultivation of cannabis for medical use, becoming the first country in Asia to enter a market dominated so far by Canada, Australia and Israel.

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.

Reliable sources claimed that public hearings exhibited overwhelming support for the measure. Despite being termed as an illegal drug, many patients have used cannabis to treat their diseases. Marijuana traffickers can face the death penalty in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Dean of the Rangsit Institute of Integrative Medicine and Anti-Aging Panthep Puapongpan told Reuters: "We're going to demand that the government revoke all these requests before the law takes effect".


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