Last month, Thailand made headlines after members of the country’s legislation hinted at the possibility of medical marijuana legalization. As part of the initial gathering, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (leader of Thailand’s military government) and the collective of supporters were expected to hold a meeting on the matter. So what were the end results? Now, several weeks later, the Thai National Legislative Assembly has officially released its proposal to legalize the little green plant’s use as a form of medication. Overall, this decision serves as a major landmark in the system of a nation that (up until now) completely restricted the drug and considered it highly dangerous. Grab your sunhat and our shades as we take a closer look at how Thailand lawmakers have proposed the legalization of medical marijuana.
A Long Process
On Friday, November 9, 2018, the Thai National Legislative Assembly submitted a series of proposed amendments to the Health Ministry. As part of these new regulations, the marijuana plant and kratom (a popular stimulant and painkiller in Thailand) would be placed into a category of legal substances, and government officials would regulate conditions for licensed distribution and possession of both drugs. At this time, the Ministry will review each amendment before passing the documents to the Cabinet, which will ultimately return the proposed changes to the legislature. Overall, officials have predicted this process will be completed before the end of 2018.
What about Recreational Pot?
Regardless of final statements on the matter, these amendments will not permit the public to use marijuana for recreational purposes. Overall, these changes were proposed due to an increasing interesting in the medical benefits of the little green plant.
According to Somchai Sawangkarn (a Thai lawmaker who initiated the proposal), Thai society is not ready for recreational cannabis, and officials must slowly integrate the plant into the public eye by promoting marijuana’s medical benefits. After six years to a month, as Sawangkarn points out, the public will have become acclimated to the drug, and recreational use may be legalized at that point. Until then, Thailand residents will have to seek out medical marijuana (if the proposed amendments are successfully integrated).
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