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Lawmaker motions bill for approving use of medical marijuana in Korea
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2018.01.11 18:02
  • Updated 2018.01.11 18:02
  • comments 0

A lawmaker has set out to revise the current laws against marijuana to allow individuals with specific medical conditions to use the herbal substance with the approval of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

A lawmaker moves to amend laws to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Korea is arguably the land of anti-marijuana, illustrated by the continuous stream of celebrities sentenced with criminal penalties for the possession and use of the herbal substance, including the notorious case with K-pop star T.O.P.

But the stringent laws against marijuana has led to some adverse effects, according to Shin Chang-hyun, a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party.

“The current law strictly forbids the sale and purchase of cannabis, which led to a recent case of a mother being arrested and sentenced in court for buying cannabis oil from overseas to treat her son with brain cancer,” Rep. Shin said Monday after submitting the revision bill to the National Assembly.

Shin seeks to amend the laws surrounding the management of narcotic drugs. The revision aims to allow the use of medical marijuana when approved by the minister of food and drug safety.

According to the lawmaker, the current narcotic law allows highly addictive drugs such as opium, morphine, and cocaine to be used for medical purposes but excludes marijuana.

“The main ingredient of hemp oil is cannabinoid (CBD), which has no hallucinogenic effects,” Shin said. “CBD has been tested in the U.S., Canada, and Germany and proven efficacy in neurological and brain diseases such as brain metastasis, autism, and dementia in clinical trials.”

The Incheon Main Customs reported a total of 38 prosecuted cases due to the import of cannabis oil in the first half of 2016 alone, Rep. Shin said.


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