Call it the domino effect: within 48 hours, three different companies have made major moves to legalize cannabis in some form, and all this comes less than two weeks after Canada become the first world power to make recreational marijuana fully legal. Or, call it the Domino’s effect, for all the munchies that are about to be unleashed upon the world.
Shitty jokes aside, this is one big Dia de los Muertos for weed. Maybe it’s like Coco and the ghost of Bob Marley has come back to haunt our slow-to-regulate asses.
On Halloween, High Times reported that Thailand was “poised to become the first Asian country to legalize medical marijuana.” A bill is currently pending before the country’s National Legislative Assembly and is expected to pass soon. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was scheduled to meet with advocates of the measure. Apparently, under Thai law the Prime Minister can unilaterally enact legislation, so we hope it went well.
The same day, the Supreme Court in Mexico made a groundbreaking decision declaring that marijuana prohibition was a violation of constitutional rights. Though the decision does not wave a magic wand making cannabis suddenly legal, it does set an important precedent which many are seeing, cautiously, as a move which could soon open the door to legal regulation.
The decision was made with the intention of making legalized recreational cannabis possible. Arturo Zaldívar, a Supreme Court Judge, told Radio Formula after the decision that, “Ideally, Congress will legislate so that personal consumption of marijuana would be regulated.” Meanwhile, Senator Olga Sánchez Cordero, the president’s secretary of the interior, told Report Indigo that, “From now on, depenalization is a fact.”
And then there’s the United Kingdom. On Thursday, British officials announced that some medical cannabis would now be reclassified as a Schedule 2 substance, meaning it has some potential medical use. The move may have more of a symbolic meaning than a practical one, as it may not actually impact that MMJ patients directly.
However, it will allow some physicians to write a prescription for medical cannabis if they judge that their patient has an “unmet clinical need.” While there is no set list of qualifying conditions, specialists will make decisions on a case by case basis, and have to be able to demonstrate that licensed medications can’t get the job done. But, as reported by High Times, “many doctors have already stated they likely won’t issue cannabis prescriptions in any case.”
Photo via Flickr user Mikey G Ottawa/Street Photographer