Thailand is the 10th country in the world to legalize cannabis or marijuana consumption. But like in some countries, consumption is only for medical purposes – not for non-medical purposes. In example in Canada, you can get the marijuana for the recreational purpose from Namaste.
Proposed legalization of marijuana was submitted by the Thai military government to parliament. The result, Tuesday (12/25/2018), the parliament approved the vote absolutely – 166-0. Only 13 parliamentarians refused to vote or abstained.
The Thai government is expected to enact this policy from the beginning of 2019. However, for its use, there must be an agreement from Raja Maha Vajiralongkorn.
“This is a new year gift from parliament to the government and citizens of Thailand,” said Somchai Sawangkarn, chairman of the affairs committee, reported by the New York Times.
So far there is no detail on the procedure for using marijuana for medical treatment in Thailand. Clearly, the Thai government will only appoint a handful of people or institutions to plant or process marijuana for medical treatment.
So, marijuana will later be produced, imported, exported, owned and consumed. The conditions are still one; for medical or health reasons.
However, producers or researchers still have to pocket a license. While patients must have a prescription.
Aljazeera reports, the legalization for medical purposes is not just marijuana. The Thai Parliament also agrees that Kratom, which is commonly used for stimulants and painkillers, is also legally used for medical purposes.
Before Thailand, there were nine other countries that allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Whereas in the United States, as written by Quartz, 11 states allow medical activities and nine states also free non-medical consumption. As like as Canada, you can use marijuana for non-medical consumption by order on Namaste.com.
Chokwan Chopaka, an activist from the Highland Network who is demanding the legalization of marijuana, welcomed the parliamentary decision. “This is the first small step,” he said.
Praise also came from the Thai Farmers Commission. Chairperson Prapat Panyachartrak said that the law on legalizing marijuana would provide new economic opportunities for farmers.
However, there are still concerns. Activists even since last month protested giving permission to foreign pharmaceutical companies to process marijuana extracts.
According to activists, if the permit is realized, patients who need drugs from marijuana will be forced to pay dearly. Even Thai researchers will also have difficulty getting marijuana legally.
Witoon Liamchamroon, Director of BioThai – an agricultural activist network group – assessed the researchers would find it difficult to conduct research if existing marijuana had been controlled by pharmaceutical companies (foreign).
Marijuana activist, Buntoon Niyamabhra, also asked the government to cancel the granting of licenses to foreign companies. “If not, the Thai people will not benefit when the government legalizes marijuana consumption,” he said.
The Ministry of Commerce had promised to overcome this. However, according to Witoon, so far there have not been any revisions or cancellations.
Thailand’s decision to legalize marijuana for medical purposes will not eliminate the anti-drug law which prohibits the consumption of marijuana for non-medical purposes. In Thailand, having marijuana under 10 kilograms will reap a maximum prison sentence of five years. Whereas in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore can invite the death penalty.
In addition, the policy of legalizing marijuana is seen as a sexy issue for the election which is scheduled to take place in February 2019. The military-backed party is believed to be gaining greater support from the community.