Thailand's legislature has agreed to amend the country's drug laws to allow the licensed medical use of marijuana, as well as kratom, a locally grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller.
166 members of the legislative assembly voted in favour of the motion, while 13 members abstained from voting.
Thailand joins a wave of country's around the world reconsidering laws regarding cannabis use.
Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize the use of medical marijuana. While Thailand's interim parliament voted to approve weed its recreational use remains illegal in the country. Kratom is sometimes taken to treat anxiety, opioid addiction, depression and other conditions, but is also used recreationally for its mild psychotropic effects.
US-based Grand View Research has estimated the global market for medical marijuana could reach $55.8 billion by 2025.
Meanwhile, Malaysian lawmakers have also been pushing to legalise the medical use of this drug, as Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar previously stated that a bill was being drafted in an effort to decriminalise it.
Cannabis is legal for recreational use under many USA jurisdictions, and was recently made available on prescription via the U.K. National Health Service.
As for India, under Section 20 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) cultivation, possession, use, sale/purchase, import/export, transportation and warehousing of cannabis.
Unfortunately, this legislation is still too hot off the presses to determine exactly how medical marijuana will be administered and overseen in Thailand. Some Thai marijuana advocates wanted the government to insert protections against foreign companies receiving patents for cannabis, and allowing them to dominate the country's market.
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