Marijuana could be legal by year's end

Marijuana could be legal by year's end

By New Year's Eve, it may be legal to grow small patches of marijuana (above) and kratom for research. It's not full legalisation by any stretch but it's the first relaxation of any drug law since the late 1960s. (File photo)
By New Year's Eve, it may be legal to grow small patches of marijuana (above) and kratom for research. It's not full legalisation by any stretch but it's the first relaxation of any drug law since the late 1960s. (File photo)

The National Legislative Assembly's (NLA) public health committee vowed Tuesday to pass proposed amendments to the Narcotics Act to legalise the growing of marijuana and kratom for medical research purposes by the end of this year.

Dr Jet Sirathraanon, chairman of the NLA's public health committee, made the statement after an NLA brainstorming session.

"We will accelerate the deliberation of these amendments so that we can complete them before the end of December. This will be a New Year's gift for all Thais," he said.

Proposed by a group of 44 NLA members, the amendments that will change the classification of marijuana as well as kratom and allow their use for medical purposes has so far received overwhelming support from the public.

A total of 16,431 people have responded to an official online survey, 16,288 (99.13%) of whom supported the proposed amendments, said Somchai Sawaengkan, an NLA member.

NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, however, stressed the importance of taking sufficient time to court further public opinion on them and then weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

"In the end, we have to find out how to allow [these narcotics plants] to be used for medical research without adversely affecting society," he said.

Marijuana extracts have been shown in studies by the Public Health Ministry to be effective in treating the symptoms of certain physical conditions including epilepsy and muscle stiffness, said Dr Jet.

As for the treatment of cancer, he said, there have not been any study results to confirm marijuana's effectiveness in curing it.

In cancer patients suffering from nausea as a side effect of chemotherapy, marijuana has proven effective in relieving that symptom, said the doctor.

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Vocabulary

  • accelerate: to happen or make something happen at a faster rate - เร่ง, เร่งความเร็ว, เพิ่มความเร็ว
  • adversely (adv.): in a bad or negative way - อย่างเป็นผลร้าย อย่างเป็นผลลบ (ใช้กับบัญชี)ที่ติดลบ
  • cancer: a serious disease in which growths of cells, also called cancers, form in the body and kill normal body cells. The disease often causes death - มะเร็ง
  • chemotherapy: the treatment of disease, especially cancer, with the use of chemical substances - เคมีบำบัด
  • deliberation: considering or discussing something - การปรึกษาหารือ
  • epilepsy: a brain disease where the person suddenly loses control and body start to shake (seizure) - โรคลมชัก, โรคลมบ้าหมู
  • marijuana (noun): a drug (illegal in many countries) made from the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant, which gives the person smoking it a feeling of being relaxed - กัญชา, ต้นกัญชา
  • narcotics: illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine or crystal methamphetamine - ยาเสพย์ติด
  • nausea: the feeling that you are going to vomit (throw up food from the stomach) - อาการคลื่นไส้
  • overwhelming (adj): by a very large amount or margin - อย่างท่วมท้น

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