Thailand’s interim parliament has voted unanimously to legalize the use of medical cannabis, reports CNN.
Following the vote Lawmaker Somchai Sawangkarn said that the passage of medical marijuana legalization “could be considered as a New Year gift to Thais.” “The amendment (on the Narcotics Bill) was passed the second and third readings today. And will become effective once it is published on the Royal Gazette,” said Sawangkarn.
The National Legislative Assembly approved the change to the law by a vote of 153 to 0, with 13 members abstaining. This makes Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to legally allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. As noted by CNN, the region i”s notorious for its hardline approach to drugs and strict penalties for drug-related crimes.”
Thailand now joins a growing list of countries that have legalized marijuana for at least medical purposes, including Canada and Uruguay.