Thailand’s Cops Banned from Getting High on The Job
Thailand has recently become the first country in Asia to legalize marijuana, and it seems that the cops are benefiting from that too!
General Suwat Chaengyodsuk, from the Royal Thai Police, just released an order prohibiting all cops from consuming weed or hemp in police stations. The Public Health Act will also prosecute anyone who goes to the police station smelling like weed or selling it, and these rules will be applicable to any situation where people come into contact with government officials or the cops as it would distract them from work.
Now, “Do not smoke marijuana or hemp” signs are mandated to be posted in police stations.
Mother of Sick Child Sparks Debate on Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Indonesia
Santi Warastuti, a 43-year old mother, went viral on social media recently after calling on medical marijuana to be legalized while in Jakarta. She took to the streets with her daughter, 13-year old Pika Sasi Kirana, who is suffering from cerebral palsy.
She was unaware that a famous local singer, Andien Aisyah, passed by, took her photo and posted about it on Twitter. “This is beyond my expectation. I went to the car-free day because I demanded a decision from the Constitutional Court on our request to review the material of Narcotics Law,” Santi disclosed to This Week in Asia. “The court’s headquarters is in Jakarta, so I thought I had to go there, to open the hearts of the judges, to show them my daughter, to show that she needs medical marijuana,” she explained. “So that was me demanding the court to announce a decision on my case soon,” she said.”
Santi is one of other mothers who have children struggling with cerebral palsy; together, they filed a request in 2020 for the courts to review the country’s 2009 drug laws that prohibit the use of all kinds of cannabis. The mothers plead for their children who have conditions that medical marijuana can treat though unfortunately the herb is still a type-1 drug in Indonesia.
Germany Continues Moves to Legalize Marijuana
Germany is well on the way to legalizing medical marijuana. According to Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, a drafted law is expected to be ready by year end. The new law is considered “a long-awaited step for many”, he says, also adding that the government will be using a “safety first” approach. “The current, primarily repressive way of dealing with cannabis has failed,” he said.
In the past, Lauterbach was against marijuana legalization, saying that it could have potential risks for health. However, he changed his position on it within the last two years though he says that many key details still need to be ironed out especially when it comes to preventing underage use, taxes, road laws, and more. “Cannabis use is not a small thing for young people, and especially for children, and can destroy a life before it has really begun,” he said.
He also acknowledges the need for the public to access their medicine, saying that it “must be accepted and is a part of a modern society.”
The health minister adds that some 4 million adults in the country already use marijuana.
Veterans in Australia Push to Legalize Marijuana
Currently in Australia, medical doctors can prescribe the use of cannabis for as long as it’s been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration as well as the Territory or State’s Health Department. However, medical marijuana comes at a high price: with costs ranging from $150 to as much as over $3,000 a month, many people simply cannot afford the medicine down under.
Now, an Iraqi war vet started a campaign for medicinal cannabis to be subsidized by the government, saying that those with PTSD are only given financial support if they take antipsychotic medications that make them suicidal. The campaign, named “No More Zombie Veterans” is being led by Derek Pyrah, revolving around a petition to get the attention of Matt Keogh, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and a Minister. According to Pyrah, many vets complain that they simply can’t afford using medicinal cannabis even if it can treat PTSD, reports News.com.au.
At the moment, Veterans have to either save up for the costs of medical marijuana, or end up getting their medications from the black market, which can result in criminal charges. Alternatively, vets may have to do nothing else but take the current antipsychotic medications which Pyrah says “have been scientifically proven to be harmful to human health, are ineffective and can lead to suicidal ideation.” Hopefully, with 25,000 signatures, it will reach Mr. Keogh as well as the DVA.
Switzerland Will Soon Launch MMJ Market
Late last month, the Swiss government announced that the existing ban on medical marijuana will finally be lifted based on amendments made to the Swiss Narcotics Act, which was approved on March 2021 by parliamentary. A report by Agence France Presse says that the move “intends to facilitate access to cannabis for medical use for patients.”
“The decision to use a cannabis-based medicine for therapeutic purposes will rest with the doctor, in consultation with the patient,” said the government. By August 1, medical marijuana patients in Switzerland will no longer need to seek approval from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) though recreational use will still be illegal. Currently, patients can only access medical marijuana with the approval of a doctor, and it must contain under 1% THC.
In addition, a study by the University of Geneva and consulting firm EBP revealed that since around 56 tons of marijuana is consumed annually in the country, if they regulate recreational cannabis, this has the potential of generating around $582 million Swiss Francs and generate around 4,400 full-time employment jobs.