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Thailand teaches Indonesia how to legalise cannabis

Government officials from Indonesia – a country famous for having some of the strictest drug laws in the worldflew to Thailand to learn about the kingdom’s liberal medical cannabis policies this morning.

News that old-fashioned Indonesia is considering legalising medical cannabis comes as quite a shock given that lawmakers in the country approved a Draconian law that bans premarital sex yesterday.

Indonesian members of parliament visited the Ministry of Public Health to listen to the Director of the Medical Cannabis Institute, Kitti Losuwanarak, talk about the process of legalising cannabis in Thailand as well as measures implemented to prevent misuse of the once-illicit aromatic plant.

Kitti spoke about the development of cannabis laws in Thailand, the medicinal benefits of cannabis, ways to prevent misuse of the plant as well as monitoring the social impact of changes to the law.

Indonesian officials reportedly asked for advice about how Indonesia should go about utilising cannabis to improve the island nation’s health and economy.

Kitti advised starting with academic and practical research as well as educating health professionals about the versatile herb.

Indonesian parliamentary officials praised Thailand for increasing patient access to medical marijuana by 159% from last year. Most of the officials agreed that medical cannabis is useful and could benefit Indonesia.

All parts of the marijuana plant are illegal in Indonesia, where smuggling the drug can land you a life sentence in prison.

In July, a 25 year old Brazilian student was arrested for smuggling 9.1 grams of cannabis from Thailand into Bali in a package labelled “Super Mao” (“super high.”) He said he “didn’t know” the plant was still illegal in Indonesia.

No news of the Brazilian student’s trial emerged in the media. However, he will likely face a hefty fine and a 15 year prison sentence.


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leah

Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.