Thai lawmakers back legalizing medical marijuana

BANGKOK — Thailand's legislature has officially proposed legal amendments that would allow the licensed medical use of marijuana, making it a potential trailblazer in Asia in legalizing what used to be regarded strictly as a dangerous drug.

The National Legislative Assembly on Friday submitted proposed amendments to the health ministry that would put marijuana and the plant kratom, popular locally as a stimulant and painkiller, into a legal category that would allow their licensed possession and distribution under regulated conditions.

The proposed changes would not allow recreational use of the drugs. The action was taken because of growing interest in the use of marijuana and its components to treat some medical conditions. Public hearings showed overwhelming support for the measures.

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