In a country that has some of the harshest laws when it comes to the possession of drugs, Thailand has made a revolutionary move and has voted to approve marijuana for medicinal use.

The country’s junta appointed parliament voted on Christmas Day to legalize the drug for medical use and it may be legal as soon as January.

“This is a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people,” remarked Somchai Sawangkarn, chairman of the drafting committee, said Reuters.

The lawmakers voted to amend the Narcotic Act of 1979 to legalize the production, import, export, possession and use of cannabis for medical and research purposes said a Bangkok Post report.

Thailand is now the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize medical marijuana but recreational marijuana will still be illegal in the country.

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