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Thailand Plans to Make Marijuana Legal, Scrapping Jail Terms and Fines for Possession

Cannabis plants on display at the Ganja Expo, organized by the Thai Health Ministry, in Buriram province, Thailand, in March 2021. 

Cannabis plants on display at the Ganja Expo, organized by the Thai Health Ministry, in Buriram province, Thailand, in March 2021. 

Photographer: Luke Duggleby/Bloomberg

Thailand plans to decriminalize marijuana, moving a step closer to clearing its use for recreation, after becoming the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize medical cannabis and its use in food and cosmetics.

The nation’s Food and Drug Administration is set to propose the removal of marijuana from a list of controlled drugs to the narcotics control board on Wednesday. Once cleared by the board, the proposal will need to be approved by Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul before it becomes effective.