The interim parliament of Thailand has passed a bill allowing the use of cannabis for medical reasons, reports CNN. However, recreational use of the drug will continue to be illegal.
Parliamentarian Somchai Sawangkarn called the move a ‘New Year gift to Thais’.
"The amendment (on the Narcotics Bill) was passed the second and third readings today. And will become effective once it is published on the Royal Gazette," he stated.
Interestingly, not a single member of parliament voted against the new amendment, while 166 were in favour. 13 members abstained from voting.
Thailand is now the first Southeast Asian country to permit the use of medical marijuana, in a region which has some of the strictest laws against narcotics on the planet.
Medical marijuana was also legalised in the UK this year and has already been legal in Germany from last year. Similar laws are in place in Australia and Ireland as well. The United States has medical marijuana permissible in 30 states, with some states even choosing to allow recreational use.