Thailand legalizes medical marijuana, Kratom

Thailand has approved the use of cannabis and Kratom for medicinal purposes. Possession of larger quantities and/or trafficking of the plants are still subject to heavy penalties.

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved legalization by a parliamentary vote of 166-0, with 13 abstentions.

Over the course of the last few years, public hearings demonstrated overwhelming support for the legislation, which amended the Narcotic Act of 1979 in an extra-parliamentary session.

Somchai Sawangkarn, chairman of the committee that drafted the legislation, proclaimed, “This is a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people.” (Reported by Reuters.)

The reversal is especially newsworthy considering Thailand was formerly part of a group of South East Asian nations with some the world’s harshest punishments for drug law violations. Marijuana traffickers remain subject to the death penalty in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Read more at Forbes online