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ResourcesThailand Criminal LawCriminal Jurisprudence ThailandLegalization of Medical Marijuana Appears Imminent in Thailand

Legalization of Medical Marijuana Appears Imminent in Thailand

See transcript of the above video below:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing medical marijuana or medical cannabis and recent developments with respect to the probability that such substances will become legalized here in the Kingdom of Thailand relatively quickly.

Now I have done some other videos on this channel with respect to this topic and I have had people come up to me and ask me about this issue.  Let me be clear. I do not think that medical cannabis and medical marijuana, that the regime for providing that or acting as a facilitator for patients with respect to medical marijuana, is going to look much like we've seen it in for example the United States, specifically California.  In fact I think the regime over here is going to be quite strict with respect to application of the relevant rules pertaining to this. 

So the thing to take away from this video as well as other videos is, this you know this is a major development with respect to narcotics policy here in the kingdom and throughout Asia.  If in fact this does transpire, this will mark the first jurisdiction to my awareness in Asia that will have any kind of legalized marijuana regime in all of Asia. But that being said, it is not going to look like how things went in for example, Canada or Colorado or California. It remains to be seen exactly what this is going to look like but I suspect the regime and the institution behind facilitating this transition are going to very strictly adhere to the letter of the law and I suspect the letter of the law is going to be very, very much attuned to this being a medical issue; this is not a recreational regime that is being brought in or being proposed to be brought in. I should be very clear on that. 

That being said, in a recent article from the Bangkok Post entitled NLA Unanimously Accepts Cannabis Bill in First Reading, dated 23rd November, 2018. Quoting directly, "A Bill to legalize medical cannabis passed the first reading in the National Legislative Assembly on Friday with 145 votes of support and one abstention." There clearly appears to be some momentum behind this proposed legislation. Quoting further,  "The NLA met to consider the Bill or amend the Narcotics Act proposed by group of 44 NLA members led by Somchai Swangkarn in the first reading. The bill outlines the uses of category 5 drugs which include cannabis and kratom for use in treatment in a similar way to the category 2 drug opium. Mr. Somchai said during a meeting. The Office of the Narcotics Control Board will determine areas where cannabis can be planted and used under the draft amendment.  Agencies and people who will be allowed to have cannabis in their position for medical purposes include Ministries, Local administrative bodies, the Red Cross, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization and those in medical fields.  Those who seek permission must not have prior convictions for violations of the narcotic law."

So as stated, the thing to take away from this, it's an important development. It is certainly somewhat an anomaly, again in Asia, and I think it's a pretty big deal for lack of a better term. But that being said, I don't think this is going to look anything like medical marijuana regimes we've seen in the western jurisdictions.  I think it's going to be much stricter and again I think this is very much looking at the pharmaceutical or medicinal side of the marijuana industry. This is not sort of the midway stepping stone over to recreational use that I can see transpiring; that being said I've been wrong before so you never know.

But the thing to take away from this video is, there looks like there is some substantial momentum behind this and also in another article I was reading and I am not going to quote from here but it's also in the Bangkok Post. They are specifically discussing patents on certain strains of medical marijuana etc. and this is causing something of a little bit of an internal controversy, for lack of better word, in the proposed segment that the business population that's looking at this issue very carefully for purposes of possibly getting into the business of medical marijuana; these patent issues have been popping up. Again that signals to me that there's probably a good chance that the legality of this is going to be changed again by the NLA probably in the relatively near future because you wouldn't have those kind of complex issues coming up in a sector that you're not going to see at least some substantial change with respect to the legality in the relatively near term.