As we previously reported, government officials from Malaysia met with their counterparts from Thailand this week with the goal of determining what Malaysia can learn from Thailand’s current cannabis policies and the efforts to get Thailand’s policies to where they are at now.
Historically, the region that Thailand and Malaysia are located in is where some of the harshest cannabis laws on earth could be found, and in the case of Malaysia, can still be found. Malaysia is one of a handful of countries around the world, most of them located in the same region, that still issues the death penalty for cannabis-only offenses.
Malaysia is currently exploring ways that it can improve its cannabis laws for medical cannabis patients, and coming off of the heals of the recent meeting between Malaysia and Thailand dedicated to the topic of medical cannabis, Malaysia’s Health Minister has indicated that the country will decide on medical cannabis by the end of the year. Per The Star:
The government will take a stand on the use of cannabis for medical purposes before the end of the year, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy who concluded a bilateral working visit to Bangkok, on Thursday (Aug 25) said Thailand had shared a lot of views and experiences during his visit on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and its cultivation.
“I am confident that we will be able to study Thailand’s experience to adapt it to the Malaysian context later when we will decide whether or not to allow the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
The effort in Malaysia is far from guaranteed to succeed, and even if something is eventually adopted, it will likely be a far cry compared to robust medical cannabis programs found in other countries in North America and Europe.
Still, it is very encouraging to see neighboring countries take notice of the shift in cannabis policy in Thailand, and for them to be seeking out advice from the regional cannabis leader. Hopefully more countries in the region follow suit.