Lawmakers in Thailand are proposing a major change to the country’s marijuana law, and one that’s a significant step in the right direction.
As reported by Reuters, Thailand’s Bhumjaithai Party – part of the ruling coalition – has officially proposed legislation that would allow for up to six cannabis plants to be grown legally per household. Introduction of the proposal comes less than a year after the nation legalized medical marijuana.
Supachai Jaisamut of the Bhumjaithai Party, a third-largest partner in the coalition and in charge of the health ministry, said the draft law would allow up to six marijuana plants per household. Cannabis is still a drug under Thai law.
“The principle is for medical use, you can have it at home for ailments, but not smoke it on the street,” Supachai Jaisamut told Reuters. Jaisamut is part of the Bhumjaithai Party, which is teh third-largest partner in the coalition and is in charge of the health ministry
Supachai also told Reuters that the proposal would create the “Plant-based Drug Institute would have authority to purchase, extract and export cannabidiol (CBD), the chemical derived from the cannabis plan…. [he compares] it to the Californian model.”
Supachai says the law could be passed in sox months after November when parliament re-opens if there was enough government support.
“The proposal would deliver on an election promise of the Bhumjaithai Party, which campaigned on a policy to allow Thais to grow cannabis”, says Reuters. “Its supporters say the draft law is designed to develop Thailand’s newly legal medical marijuana industry.”
In December of last year, Thailand’s interim parliament voted unanimously to legalize the use of medical cannabis. 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 National Legislative Assembly approved the change to the law by a vote of 153 to 0, with 13 members abstaining. This made Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to legally allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes.