Thailand Legalizes Marijuana And Kratom For Medicinal Use And Research

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By Mandy Froelich / Truth Theory 

Thailand can now be regarded as a dream destination for two more reasons. Late December, the South East Asian country approved the use of cannabis and kratom plants for medicinal use. However, possessing larger quantities and trafficking the plants, which are still classified as schedule 5 drug, carries a death sentence nationally and in bordering countries throughout the region. 

The initiative to legalize marijuana passed the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) in a junta-appointed parliamentary vote of 166-0, with 13 abstentions. The new amendment increases the National Narcotics Control Committee from 17 to 25 members. Once the law is published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette, it can be enforced. The process may take up to four months.  

The Thai government decided to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes and research because it is a safe substance that has been proven to benefit numerous health conditions. Furthermore, hemp, which is also derived from the cannabis plant, has thousands of uses ranging from industrial to food to clothing. 

Public hearings also showed strong support for the legislation, which amends the Narcotic Act of 1979. Said Somchai Sawangkarn, the chairman of the drafting committee in a televised parliamentary session: “This is a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people.”

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Similar to the United States of America, Thailand used to condone the use of marijuana. Then, propaganda in the 1930’s prompted prohibition. Kratom holds a similar stigma to marijuana, though it has been used in traditional medicines since at least the nineteenth century. Now, it is available for medicinal and research purposes in the South East Asian country, as well. 

If you’re looking up flights to visit Thailand in the near future, just remember that cannabis is still illegal to consume recreationally. In fact, much of South East Asia forbids the herb. Many of the countries also have some of the world’s harshest punishments for drug law violations, aside from the Kindgom of Saudi Arabia. 

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