Will Thailand's legal medical marijuana seed a new black market?

Thailand’s decision to legalise marijuana for medical purposes has raised concerns over deliberate exploitation of the new law and warnings to the public not to forget that general use of the drug is still very much illegal.

Last Tuesday, Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly passed a bill allowing the use of cannabis and kratom, a local plant with opioid properties native to Southeast Asia. It grants use for several purposes, including patient treatment, growing for export and sale, research and other science and industry activities.


Thailand legalises cannabis for medicinal use as neighboring countries still impose death penalty

Thailand has legalised cannabis for medicinal use in a region which has some of the the strictest drug laws in the world.

The Thai government passed the new legislation today approving the use of medicinal marijuana and for its use in research.

Marijuana was used in Thailand as a traditional medicine to relieve pain and fatigue, until it was banned in the 1930s. 

Using cannabis for recreational reasons will still be illegal.


Philippines president promises to sign medical marijuana bill after Miss Universe supports the issue

Over the weekend Catriona Gray, the Miss Universe contestant representing the Philippines, made headlines for saying she supports medical marijuana during the interview portion of the beauty pageant. And now that Gray has won the Miss Universe competition, the most powerful politicians in her home country are now supporting medical marijuana as well, writes Joseph Misulonas. 


Thailand taking steps to legalize medical marijuana

Thailand is taking steps to become the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize medical marijuana and is considering exporting the substance that’s currently banned there.

In the global rush to legalize marijuana, cannabis companies are looking for less expensive locations to mass-produce the cash crop. With its good growing climate and as a hub for shipping and medicine, Thailand is viewed as a low-cost place to produce marijuana and then export it.


Wife makes emotional plea for release of husband held over cannabis oil

The wife of a British man arrested for allegedly smuggling cannabis oil in Bali has made an emotional appeal for his release, saying he “made a mistake but doesn’t deserve five to 15 years in prison.”

Michelle Holmes, 41, said her husband, Pip, 45, knew he had “crossed the line” but said he was a “good man with a good heart” who had used the medicinal cannabis oil to treat severe arthritis that required a titanium hip replacement six years ago.

“He would not have done this unless he was in a lot pain,” said Ms Holmes, the mother of his two children aged 11 and eight who has been separated from her husband for a year.


Briton arrested for 'tiny' amount of cannabis oil in Bali

A British man who could face the death penalty after he was arrested in Bali for allegedly smuggling cannabis oil has admitted he has been "very stupid".

Pip Holmes, understood to be a 45-year-old artist from Cornwall, was one of five foreigners paraded at a news conference in Denpasar, the capital of Bali province last week.

The father-of-two is accused of receiving nearly 31kg of cannabis oil in the mail.

Mr Holmes, who describes himself as an artist and surfer, claims he was caught with just a tiny amount - around 3g - of medicinal THC oil.

He says he uses it to treat arthritis.

Mr Holmes' family has launched a crowdfunding page to raise $85,000 (ÂŁ67,000) for legal fees to keep him out of prison.


Weeding out foreigners: strains over Thailand's legalization of marijuana

Thailand is set to become the first Asian country to legalize medical marijuana, but a battle is brewing between local and foreign firms over control of a potentially lucrative market.

With parliament set to approve the legislation as early as next month, Thai businesses and activists have raised concerns that a raft of patent requests filed by foreign firms could allow them to dominate the market and make it harder for researchers to access marijuana extracts.

“Granting these patents is scary because it blocks innovation and stops other businesses and researchers from doing anything related with cannabis,” said Chokwan Kitty Chopaka, an activist with Highlands Network, a cannabis legalization advocacy group in Thailand.


Thailand advances initiative to legalize medical cannabis and kratom

Thailand just moved a big step closer to legalizing the medicinal use of both cannabis and kratom. After a new initiative won unanimous support, key lawmakers are now working to review and finalize an amendment to the country’s narcotics laws. If the initiative eventually passes into law, Thailand could become the next country to make medical marijuana legal.

Thailand’s New Amendment Proposal

The primary focus of the new initiative is to make it legal for patients to use marijuana and kratom for therapeutic purposes. In order to make this happen, lawmakers will eventually need to pass an amendment to Thailand’s Narcotics Act.


South Korea moves to legalize medical marijuana

South Korea has earned the distinction of becoming the first East Asian country to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.

South Korea’s National Assembly voted to amend the Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs to allow non-hallucinogenic dosages of medical cannabis, Marijuana Business Daily reports.

The updated law comes months after the country’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it would allow cannabis-based drugs such as Epidiolex, Marinol, Cesamet and Sativex for conditions such as epilepsy, symptoms of HIV/AIDS, and cancer-related treatments.


Where will marijuana be legal next? Asian countries race toward cannabis legalization

Several Asian nations have taken note of cannabis legalization movements in North America and other countries, with several moving to chart a similar path.

Last Friday, Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly sent a proposed amendment to the country’s Health Ministry, which would reclassify marijuana as medicinally legal and regulate its possession and distribution, British online newspaper The Independent reported. The proposed law change will be reviewed by the ministry before being sent to the cabinet for potential revisions. After these steps, the legislature will vote on the amendment, with some analysts suggesting medicinal cannabis could be legalized by the end of the year.


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