BANGKOK: The Thai government on Tuesday approved a reform to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis, which would make it the first Southeast Asian country to do so.
The government led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said that the proposal to reform its narcotics laws would be presented to the Parliament, Efe news reported.
The proposal also included the legalization of the medicinal use of kratom, a tree in Southeast Asia whose leaves are used as a stimulant, analgesic and narcotic.
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In a statement, the government underlined the need to update its narcotics laws as an increasing number of countries worldwide had started to accept the legitimate medicinal benefits of cannabis.
Thailand outlawed the drug in 1935 and its possession or transportation of up to 10 kg is punishable by a maximum of five years of imprisonment, whereas anything above 10 kg can result in up to 15 years in jail.