Editor's Note
Several Asian nations are moving toward legalizing cannabis, including Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, China and Japan. Some analysts suggest medicinal cannabis could be legalized in Thailand by the end of the year. Sri Lanka announced this summer that it would begin cultivating cannabis for medicinal export and is considering legalizing Ayurvedic use. Cannabis remains illegal in China and Japan, but both have approved limited cultivation and officially sanctioned research into the plant's potential benefits.
November 13, 2018

Asian countries race toward cannabis legalization
Several Asian nations have taken note of cannabis legalization movements in North America and other countries, with several moving to chart a similar path.

Last Friday, Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly sent a proposed amendment to the country’s Health Ministry, which would reclassify marijuana as medicinally legal and regulate its possession and distribution, British online newspaper The Independent reported. The proposed law change will be reviewed by the ministry before being sent to the cabinet for potential revisions. After these steps, the legislature will vote on the amendment, with some analysts suggesting medicinal cannabis could be legalized by the end of the year.

In Malaysia, where trafficking marijuana has led many to receive the death penalty, legalization campaigners have recently seen glimpses of serious reform as well.