Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to legalise medical marijuana in December and in June, Asia’s first marijuana clinic opened in Bangkok. Now, the government is still not done with easing its rules.
The Bhumanjaithai Party said they would file a draft bill this week that pushes for the legalisation of homegrown pot, the Bangkok Post reported. This comes in light of a public forum organised by the party that discussed how to reap the economic and medical benefits of marijuana.
The party was a major player in campaigning for opening up the cannabis market during Thailand’s elections in March.
Party member Supachai Jaisamut told the Bangkok Post that the draft bill would amend the Narcotics Act to allow households to grow a maximum of six cannabis plants for personal consumption. It would need the support of at least 500 legislators to be implemented. State and non-government officials, folk doctors, and Thai traditional medicine practitioners who attended the forum showed support for the party’s initiative.
In conjunction with this proposal, Supachai said that the party also plans to submit another draft bill proposing the establishment of a “Narcotic Plants Institute.” The institute would oversee the research, development, imports, and exports of cannabis, and would be the entity in charge of granting permission for people to grow the plants in their homes.
Rosana Tositrakul, the Thai Holistic Health Foundation’s secretary-general told the Bangkok Post that legalising homegrown cannabis would remove the state’s five-year plantation monopoly, allowing people to develop various strains and make Thai cannabis more competitive. She also added that it would help folk doctors treat their patients by allowing them to grow marijuana.
Other countries in the region are discussing the possibility of following in Thailand’s footsteps, including, Malaysia, Laos, and the Philippines. However, some countries remain conservative in their attitudes towards cannabis, including Singapore where two men were arrested on Monday for growing weed in their flat.