It's a Happy New Year 2019 for Thailand As Government Legalises Marijuana for Medical Purpose
Marijuana (Photo Credits: Pixabay, Unsplash)

Thailand has legalised marijuana for medical use and research becoming the first country in Southeast Asia. Also known as kratom it is a locally grown plant used as stimulant and painkiller. While Thailand's interim parliament voted to approve weed its recreational use remains illegal in the country.

While passing the amendment to allow medical marijuana in the country, lawmaker Somchai Sawangkarn said it "could be considered as a New Year gift to Thais." He said, "The amendment (on the Narcotics Bill) was passed the second and third readings today. And will become effective once it is published on the Royal Gazette." 166 members from the National Legislative Assembly voted in favour of the change. While there were no votes objecting to the motion, 13 members abstained from voting. Recreational use of marijuana is illegal with imprisonment and fines depending on the quantities involved. Marijuana Legalised in Canada, But South Korea Won't Let Its Citizens in the Country Smoke Cannabis.

Many countries in the recent past have been legalising cannabis for medical use. Earlier this year, the British government approved medical marijuana and became available to patients with prescription on November 1 from the National Health System. Earlier, Ireland and Australia have also legalised medical marijuana. Rhode Island Family Tries Medical Marijuana for Son with Autism: Can Cannabis Treatment Help Treat Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Last year, Germany legalised the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In the past years, upto 30 states in the United States have permitted the use of marijuana with laws around it varying in different states. Neighbouring Malaysia is also considering the legalising the plant as discussion and debates over its perils continue. Southeast Asia is known for its strict punishment for drug-related crimes. Marijuana traffickers can even be awarded the death penalty in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia as well.