Despite the long-standing harsh laws against cannabis possession and use in most Asian Countries, South Korean officials passed an amendment this week that legalizes the medical use of non-hallucinogenic doses of marijuana. The previous penalties for a simple cannabis offense could be up to 5 years in prison and a fine equivalent to nearly $90,000. The new amendment allows for licenses to be awarded to businesses for the production and sale of medical cannabis with patients being allowed access only after being prescribed cannabis by a physician and then having their individual case approved by the Korean Orphan Drug Center. Advocates say this new development is a major advancement in cannabis policy reform considering the traditionally harsh penalties associated with cannabis offenses in many Asian countries.
‘The importance of Korea being the first country in East Asia to allow medical cannabis at a federal level should not be understated. Now it's a matter of when other Asian countries follow South Korea, not if', he said to Marijuana Business Daily.