Green Party Taiwan favors legalization of medical marijuana

Green Party Taiwan legislator-at-large candidate Zoe Lee to spearhead campaign to legalize medical weed

(Photo from Green Party Taiwan Facebook page)

(Photo from Green Party Taiwan Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Green Party Taiwan on Thursday (Nov. 21) announced that it is in favor of legalizing medical cannabis in Taiwan and has selected one of its legislator-at-large candidates to spearhead the campaign.

On the Green Party Taiwan Facebook page on Thursday, the party announced that it will work to legalize medical marijuana in the country. It also announced that Zoe Lee (李菁琪), a human rights lawyer who voluntarily defends those who have been affected by environmental degradation, would lead the charge in the Legislative Yuan if elected.

The Green Party wrote that if its new candidates are voted into the Legislative Yuan, they will ask the Ministry of Health and Welfare to assess the feasibility of the legal import and sale of Cannabidiol (CBD), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other cannabis extracts. The party claims that the legalization of such products could provide additional medical options for patients with muscle pain, anxiety, arthritis, epilepsy, and other trauma disorders.

In addition, the party wrote that it would support reviewing the current legal classification of recreational cannabis. The Green Party also hopes that, on the condition of legal regulation, Taiwanese farmers and pharmacies will have the opportunity to develop relevant industries that are riding the global cannabis legalization wave and "not miss out on the economic dividend of cannabis."

The green party also stated that it was aware of the risk of stigmatization, but as a party leading global progress, it said it has a responsibility to give priority to the idea and hope that "marijuana will not be a problem anymore" (大麻不再麻煩).

Taiwanese netizens on Facebook had mixed reactions to the proposal, with some fully in favor of the idea:

"Votes will go up."

"This batch is especially green."

"Marijuana needs freedom."

"I support it. Marijuana needs to be regulated legally to protect the rights and interests of consumers and patients."

However, some netizens thought that in Taiwan's relatively conservative society, the party would actually receive fewer votes as a result of the controversial proposal.

"Does this issue have support?"

"Proposing this policy now will reduce votes."

Unlike Canada, certain U.S. states, and some other Western countries where it is allowed for medical or recreational purposes, marijuana is still classified as a category 2 narcotic under the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act in Taiwan.