'A New Year's Gift:' Thailand Approves Medical Marijuana

The Southeast Asian country becomes the first to do so.

By

Big news out of Thailand. The country's National Legislative Assembly made an amendment to the country's constitution that legalizes the use of cannabis for medical and research purposes. The vote wasn't even close: 166-0. 

Shutterstock.com

Related: Uruguay Legalized Marijuana and the Crime Rate Has Plummetted

Somchai Sawangkarn, one of the lawmakers who helped write the legislation, said it was  “a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people."

Thai farmers are stoked about the decision. 

"I expect Thailand can make 100 billion baht a year ($3.07 billion) from growing cannabis and selling the raw material and cannabis oil," chairman of The National Farmers Council of Thailand, Prapat Panyachartrak, told Agence France Presse.

But don't go lighting up a celebratory spliff in Bangkok just yet. The recreational use of marijuana is still highly illegal in the country -- and could lead to 15 years in a Thai prison and stiff financial fines. 

Related: This Is Non-Negotiable: Cannabis Legalization Must Include Restorative Justice

Jonathan Small

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Jonathan Small is editor-in-chief of Green Entrepreneur, a website and magazine focused on the cannabis industry. He is also an award-winning journalist, producer, and podcast host of the Green Entrepreneur and Write About Now podcasts and the founder of Strike Fire Productions, a premium podcast production company with clients such as SAG-AFTRA and Purely Elizabeth. He had held editing positions at Glamour, Stuff, Fitness, and Twist Magazines. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, and Good Housekeeping. Previously, Jonathan served as VP of Content for the GSN (the Game Show Network), where he produced original digital video series.