In September this year, there was news about Malaysia potentially looking at becoming the first Southeast Asian country to legalise medical marijuana. According to a report by Bloomberg, our Cabinet had started early and informal discussions on amending the relevant laws that made marijuana illegal in our country.
But it looks like our neighbour, Thailand has beaten us to the punch! They have officially become the first Southeast Asian country to approve the use of cannabis for medical and research purposes in a region with some of the world’s strictest drug laws. During a televised parliamentary session, Somchai Sawangkarn, the chairman of the drafting committee of Thailand said:
“This is a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people.”
The junta-appointed parliament in Thailand, voted to amend the Narcotic Act of 1979 in an extra parliamentary session handling a rush of bills before the New Years holidays, and the bill to legalise marijuana was passed on Tuesday, reported Reuters.
Interestingly, marijuana was actually widely used as a traditional treatment of pain and fatigue in Thailand prior to the 1930s. Besides marijuana, kratom aka ketum has also been legalised for medical usage in Thailand.
How long do you think it will take for Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries to follow suit?
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