SOUTH KOREA OFFICIALLY LEGALIZED MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Needless to say, the little green plant called marijuana has not been a welcome addition to the lives of people hailing from major Asian countries. Recently, international groups in China, Japan, and Korea warned citizens not to engage in any weed-related activities or risk paying the price based on their country’s laws. Ultimately, though, the push for legalization has finally taken a less dangerous step. As of now, South Korea has finally entered a new phase and has officially legalized marijuana for medical purposes, which may come as a major surprise to us in the States. After all, wasn’t South Korea one of the most vocal advocates against the legalization of the drug? So what took place to instigate this sudden change of heart? Let’s take a closer look at the situation and find out more.
Big Shock in the Pot Community
As of now, South Korea (also known as the Republic of Korea) officially became the first East Asian country to legalize medical-grade cannabis. On November 23, 2018, the government re-reviewed its national drug policy to permit a marijuana-based oil to be imported and distributed to patients suffering from severe health problems. Interestingly, though, South Korea has not always been a vocal supporter of the little green plant.
As we have seen before, South Korea has actively criticized other countries for loosening policies on marijuana or legalizing the plant entirely. In fact, the country recently issued a warning to citizens visiting Canada that, if they indulged in marijuana, they would face severe repercussions when they returned to South Korea.
Why the Big Change?
Back in January, Shin Chang-Hyun (Democratic Party representative from Uiwang and Gwacheon) introduced the proposed amendment to the drug control law out of a concern for drug abuse and addiction. In an interview, Shin explained that cannabidiol oil has been proven to be an effective medication for countering narcotics and other addictive substances. Likewise, he emphasized the drug’s profound effects on a variety of illnesses including brain cancer, autism, dementia, and epilepsy. Overall, Shin hopes the import of CBD oil will help patients with rare or terminal illnesses to find the healthier treatments they deserve.
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