UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The Thai Parliament has approved the use of cannabis for medical and research purposes. As the Khaosod newspaper reported on Tuesday, the amendments to the 1979 Law on Drugs were approved unanimously. However, it is not yet clear when the law will come into force, however, as a rule, this happens within a month after it is approved by parliament.
According to the publication, 166 legislators were in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, not one, and 13 abstained from voting. According to the new law, marijuana is now allowed to own scientists, doctors practicing Thai traditional medicine, employees of the Red Cross, local farmers who have received permission from the state, as well as foreign patients who need it for treatment.
In addition, the law provides for the identification of areas where the use of kratom is permitted for medical and recreational purposes without any legal consequences, as well as areas designated for the cultivation of cannabis under the supervision of the Anti-Drug Council.
It is emphasized that unauthorized possession of marijuana will remain illegal. Possession, cultivation and transportation of cannabis up to 10 kg can lead to a prison term of up to five years, over 10 kg – up to 15 years.
In addition, violators are punished with a fine of 20 thousand to 1.5 million baht (from 614 to $ 46 thousand). Most people arrested for simply keeping a small amount of marijuana are fined, not jailed.
According to Khaosod, one of the proponents of the bill expressed concern about the parliament’s decision, as the amendment may cause legal confusion because officials have not yet given a clear answer to the question of whether foreign pharmaceutical companies are allowed to patent Thai-based drugs cannabis.
Some of the firms have already taken certain steps in this direction in order to seize control over the still emerging industry through patent applications filed before the adoption of the law, the newspaper said.
The National Legislative Assembly of Thailand’s Public Health Committee has previously promised to adopt proposed amendments to the drug law by the end of this year to legalize the cultivation of marijuana and kratom for medical and research purposes.
The proposed amendments, which should change the classification of marijuana and kratom, have so far received overwhelming public support.
According to research by the Ministry of Health of Thailand, marijuana extract is effective in treating the symptoms of certain physical conditions, including peripheral neuropathy, epilepsy, and muscle stiffness.
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