BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's legislature has agreed to amend the country's drug law to allow the licensed medical use of marijuana, as well as the kratom, a locally grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller.
Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to take such action, which is also under consideration in neighboring Malaysia.
The legislation passed its final reading Tuesday at the National Legislative Assembly by a vote of 166-0 with 13 abstentions.
The changes, which become law when published in the Royal Gazette, legalize the production, import, export, possession and use of marijuana and kratom products for medical purposes.
Recreational use of the drugs remains illegal and subject to prison terms and fines commensurate with the quantities involved.
Public hearings showed overwhelming support for the measure.