In a bellwether move for Southeast Asia, Thailand's legislature moves to amend the country's drug laws to allow the legal use of medical cannabis.
The news comes as quite a shock as many countries in SE Asia, a region with some of the strictest drug laws on earth, still enforce the death penalty for certain drug offenses.
Although neighboring Malaysia recently abolished the death penalty, harsh laws remain on the books throughout many countries in the region, including:
- Singapore: Death penalty for the sale of illegal drugs - even in small amounts
- Indonesia: Up to 20 years in prison for possession of cannabis - even in small amounts
- Laos: Hefty fines up to $35,000 USD for possession - even in small amounts
- Cambodia: Lengthy prison sentences for those found guilty for possession
The new law passed through the Thai legislature quite easily with a nearly unanimous vote of 166-0-13. These new changes will allow for the cultivation, production, import/export, possession and consumption of cannabis for medical purposes.
Finally, this bill noted the medical value of cannabis and the fact that many countries around the globe are taking a more relaxed approach to cannabis for medical and recreational purposes.
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