Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 33° Partly Cloudy
News >  World

Thailand’s legislature legalizes medical use of marijuana

Associated Press

BANGKOK – Thailand’s legislature on Tuesday 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 Southeast Asia to take such action, which is also under consideration in neighboring Malaysia. New Zealand’s government earlier this month enacted a law liberalizing the medical use of marijuana, which had previously been tightly restricted.

The Thai legislation 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, legalize 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, while end-users will need prescriptions.

Recreational use of the drugs remains illegal and subject to prison terms and fines commensurate with the quantities involved.

Public hearings showed overwhelming support for the measure.

The bill introducing the legislative changes had noted that recent studies have shown that marijuana extract has medicinal benefits, which has prompted “many countries around the world to ease their laws by enacting legal amendments to allow their citizens to legally use kratom and marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.”

It added that despite being classified as an illegal drug, many patients have used marijuana to treat their diseases.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.


Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)
Sponsored

2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons.