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Thai lawmakers back legalising medical marijuana

Bangkok: Thailand's legislature has officially proposed legal amendments that would allow the licensed medical use of marijuana, making it a potential trailblazer in Asia in legalizing what used to be regarded strictly as a dangerous drug.

Thai lawmakers back legalising medical marijuana

The National Legislative Assembly on Friday submitted proposed amendments to the health ministry that would put marijuana and the plant kratom, used locally as a stimulant and painkiller, into a legal category that would allow for licensed possession and distribution under regulated conditions.

The proposed changes would not allow recreational use of the drugs. The action was taken because of growing interest in the use of marijuana and its components to treat some medical conditions. Public hearings showed overwhelming support for the measures.

There are growing numbers of underground users of cannabis products in Thailand for medical purposes.

Among them is Buntoon Niyamapha, a marijuana advocate, who sell his personal supplies of cannabis oils to patients seeking an alternative treatment for their illnesses.

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His practice is still considered illegal and he said the amendment does not come quick enough for many people who are in desperate need.

""Marijuana is not addictive, unlike cigarettes, alcohol or even coffee that you drink. What do you worry about? Marijuana cannot kill you," he said.

Chatchada Nuchartwong, a cancer patient who visited Buntoon's office for the first time said she supported the legalisation of medical marijuana "if it really can help cancer patients."

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