From Death Penalty To Legalization
Currently, the country maintains the illegal status of cannabis regardless of the purpose of use, whether recreational or medical. Anyone caught in possession of marijuana could be sentenced to 15 years or more. The harshest sentence can be the death penalty if convicted of trafficking large amounts of the marijuana plant.
This may all change as New York Times reports, Thailand’s military government unanimously approved medical marijuana use. Thailand’s military government called elections for the end of February to back medical usage, which still must be supported by the nation’s monarch, King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The approval comes by a vote of 166 to 0, which approved legislation would allow the use of cannabis under medical supervision. Making Thailand the first country to legalize cannabis use in Southeast Asia.
Asian Countries to Follow Suit
Cannabis is still illegal in many of Thailand’s neighbors, such as Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Currently, all of these countries impose prison sentences for possessing even the smallest amount of marijuana. However, Thailand’s new legislation could positively affect the rest of the region. Currently, Malaysia is considering legalizing cannabis for medical use.
While there are still some questions surrounding the medicinal value of cannabis according to the Ministry of Health, the final decision rests in their hands. For now, we will keep watch for the decision on the law February 2019.
Traveling to Thailand
For now, we highly recommend you abide by the countries current country laws which forbid the use of marijuana on a medical and recreational level. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find some amazing places to still visit like Bang Tao Beach.