Thailand has taken its first baby step towards full legalization of marijuana.
While many people received a new pair of socks, a nice watch or even a few good gift cards for Christmas, Thailand may have won the silent competition for holiday gifts when they were gifted legalization of medical marijuana. According to Reuters, the country just made the legal move today, on Christmas of all days.
“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. Before today Thailand was known for having strict laws regarding marijuana, like many other Southeast Asia countries. Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia can inflict the death penalty to marijuana traffickers.
According to the publication, the main issues with Thailand had with marijuana was revolved around "patent requests by foreign firms" that would enable marijuana to dominate the market making it harder for patients to access medicine and for researchers to gain extracts from the drug for research.
“We’re going to demand that the government revoke all these requests before the law takes effect,” Panthep Puapongpan, Dean of the Rangsit Institute of Integrative Medicine and Anti-Aging said.
Here's to the new year and to yet another country allowing medicinal use of marijuana!