Thailand, Mexico, the UK, all considering marijuana legalization

Thailand, Mexico, the UK, all considering marijuana legalization

VicesNovember 01, 2018 By Will Brendza

Countries are falling like dominoes before the power of pot. There’s money to be made and medicinal benefits to be had, they’re starting to realize. And people want on that train.

In America, the medicinal movement spread slowly, starting in the most progressive states, and creeping steadily out into more conservative parts of the country. And it seems that now, the same pattern is unfolding on a global scale.

The wave of legal weed is gaining momentum.

Recently Canada just nationally legalized recreational marijuana (and almost sold out of pot nation-wide within the first week). Making them one of the first western countries to legalize the drug at a federal level, lifting entirely the prohibition that has criminalized and stigmatized it.

Mexico might not be too far behind them, either – having sent representatives to Canada to discuss some of the political and administrative logistics surrounding national legalization. For Mexico, though, legalization is about more than getting access to pot (which they already have a lot of). Legalization represents a tool for fighting violence, by cutting into the drug cartel’s income and redirecting it to the state.

And if our continental neighbors to the north and south, both succumb to national recreational legalization, it will not be long before the U.S. of A follows suit.

That’s not all, though.

In July, the UK, a notoriously conservative, anti-drug country, made two medical exceptions for cannabis use. The two cases, both high profile in nature, involved kids with rare forms of epilepsy who needed cannabis to control their seizures. So their doctor made sure they got some.

By the end of this year, it’s expected that doctors throughout the UK will be able to prescribe “cannabis-derived medicinal products” in severe circumstances. Though, they made sure to clarify, that, “This will help patients with an exceptional clinical need but is in no way a first step to the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.”

Sure, guys. That’s what they all say.

On the other side of the world, Thailand is also eyeing medical legalization. A prospect that would make them the first Asian country to embark down the path of legal weed. It would also represent a pretty drastic shift from their current policy on cannabis, which categorizes it as a “category 5 narcotic” and considers any possession of any amount to be criminal.

Jet Sirathraanon, the chairman of the Thai NLA’s standing committee of public health, submitted the bill to their speaker only recently. Jet told the AFP, “I’m doing this because it's an opportunity for Thai people … Thailand has the best marijuana in the world.”

If this theme continues, it might not be so absurd to imagine a world where cannabis is legal and (at least medically) available in every corner of the globe. Which would be a little surreal. Only twenty years ago such a prospect seemed like an impossible pipedream.

Today, it seems like the not-so-distant future.