Many are asking: Is marijuana legal in Thailand? Thailand is now on track to become the first country in Southeast Asia – a region infamous for severe drug prohibitions – to remove cannabis off its drugs list, thereby decriminalizing the plant and enabling families to cultivate their own.
The measure is meant to remove barriers to the development of a potentially multibillion-dollar sector in the manufacture of medicinal marijuana and the use of marijuana derivatives in food and cosmetics, but supporters think it will also lead to the legalization of recreational marijuana usage.
Thai Public Health Ministry proposes removal of marijuana from illegal drugs list
Thailand’s public health ministry referred a proposal to remove marijuana from a list of category-5 controlled drugs to the narcotics control board on Monday, January 17, which was expected to rubber stamp the reform on Wednesday, January 19, before referring it back to Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul – a supporter of marijuana reform – for approval.
Thailand’s drug regulations will be transformed as a result of the current action.
While marijuana is still classed as a narcotic, possession can result in up to 15 years in prison. The removal of it off the drugs list will relieve people who cultivate it for personal use of the threat of arrest, while it will remain illegal to sell it for recreational use.
“If we’re able to decriminalise marijuana, we will be able to benefit from all of the plant and not just parts of it,” Withid Sariddeechaikool, Deputy Secretary-General of the Food and Drug Administration said. “The flower buds and seeds could be used economically and in compliance of the law.”
The Thai government has prioritized the development of the medicinal marijuana industry in order to assist bolster the country’s tourism-based economy, which has been devastated by the pandemic.
Cannabis entrepreneur Tom Kruesopon, a government consultant on marijuana reform and Golden Triangle Health co-founder, which seeks to develop medical marijuana clinics in Thailand, said the reforms will benefit both the country’s health and tourism industries.
“I told the Tourism Minister we should change Thailand’s tourism slogan from The Land of Smiles to The Land That Makes Everyone Smile,” Mr Kruesopon said.
“It’s not as though tomorrow everyone can come to Thailand and enjoy cannabis freely on the streets of Bangkok. As with anything, there is still bureaucracy so realistically we are looking at the fourth quarter of this year.
“Then an Australian tourist will be able to come to Thailand, visit one of our clinics and get his cannabis to help with his disease, or he can go to a farm where friends are growing it and enjoy smoking it there.”
While many neighboring nations continue to impose harsh marijuana punishments, Mr Kruesopon believes Thailand’s changes – which began in 2018 when the government allowed medical cannabis – are having a domino effect.
In Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines, both expats and residents have suffered heavy punishments, including the death sentence, for drug offenses. However, Laos and Cambodia are also considering possibilities of cannabis legalization.
Even Malaysian Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad has come out in favor of decriminalization of cannabis possession, since there is rising interest in the creation of cannabis-derived consumer and therapeutic products.
Medical marijuana is frequently administered to cancer and AIDS patients to boost appetite and manage nausea, as well as to epileptic patients to treat seizures. For joint discomfort, topical treatments are also available.
“Thailand is turning the war on drugs upside down,” Mr Kruesopon said. “These reforms will not only benefit the consumer but show other countries that putting people in jail for cannabis use is wasting space and ruining lives. These policies will help to improve people’s lives, not destroy them. The good thing about Thailand is not only are edibles going to be legal but also food products. It was a long road for the US to get where it is but Thailand has taken much less time and I give all credit to the Health Minister for this.”
At present, use of marijuana, either for recreation or medical use, is legal in Netherlands, Canada, Uruguay, South Africa, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Colombia, Spain, Belize, Czech Republic, Georgia, Mexico, Malta, and Germany.
What is medical cannabis?
Medical marijuana refers to Cannabis sativa plant derivatives that are used to alleviate symptoms associated with particular medical diseases. Medical cannabis is another name for medical marijuana.
Cannabis sativa includes a large number of active chemicals. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most well-known. THC is the major component of marijuana that causes individuals to become “high.”
When is medical cannabis advisable for use?
Medicinal cannabis is most commonly used to treat pain. While marijuana isn’t strong enough to treat severe pain (such as post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite beneficial for chronic pain, which affects millions of people, especially as they become older. Part of its attractiveness stems from the fact that it is plainly safer than opiates (it cannot be overdosed on and is significantly less addictive), and it may be used in place of NSAIDs such as Advil or Aleve if patients are unable to take them owing to kidney, ulcer, or GERD problems.
According to studies, medicinal cannabis may be beneficial for a variety of diseases. The symptoms that qualify persons for medicinal marijuana therapy differ by country and state.
Marijuana, in particular, appears to alleviate the discomfort of multiple sclerosis and nerve pain in general. There are few additional choices in this area, and those that do exist, such as Neurontin, Lyrica, or opiates, are severely sedating. Patients remark that marijuana permits them to resume their prior activities without feeling entirely disconnected and out of it.
Along similar lines, marijuana is known to be an excellent muscle relaxant, and many individuals swear by its ability to reduce tremors in Parkinson’s disease patients. It is also said to be successful enough for fibromyalgia, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and most other illnesses with chronic pain as the last common route.
Marijuana is also used to treat glaucoma and to cure nausea and weight loss. Its application in treating PTSD in veterans returning from conflict zones is a very promising field of research. Many veterans and their therapists claim significant improvement and call for greater research and a relaxation of governmental limits on its study. Medical marijuana has also been shown to aid individuals suffering from HIV-related discomfort and wasting syndrome, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
Claims of efficacy, like all therapies, should be rigorously scrutinized and regarded with caution.
Furthermore, depending on the countries’ laws, you may be eligible for medical marijuana therapy if you satisfy specific standards and have a qualifying illness, such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea or vomiting caused by cancer treatment
Forms of medical marijuana
Medical marijuana is available in a number of forms, including:
- Dried leaves
The method and location for purchasing medicinal marijuana differs by state. You administer the product once you have it. The frequency with which you utilize it is determined on its shape and your symptoms.
The type you choose will affect your symptom alleviation and adverse effects. Inhaling the vaporized form has the fastest results. The pill form has the slowest onset.