South Korea Becomes First East Asian Country To Legalize Medical Marijuana
The use and import of medical marijuana has been legalized in South Korea, for those who struggle with rare or incurable diseases like epilepsy.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety revealed on November 23rd that the “Amendment to the Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs” had passed through a plenary session at the National Assembly.
The act allows patients with rare or incurable diseases who cannot find alternative medicine within Korean to import and use medical marijuana from overseas.
Going forward, these patients simply have to submit a prescription from a doctor to the health authorities. Permission to use this time of treatment will be granted on a case-by-case basis, and once granted they will be able to receive the relevant medicine from Korea Orphan Drug Centre.
The import, growth, or sale of marijuana products remains illegal in South Korea. As a result, many patients who require the effects that cannabis oil has on neurological diseases petitioned the government to allow use of such medicinal products.
Last year, the parents of a child who suffers from epilepsy brought cannabis oil to help treat their symptoms and were investigated by the Prosecutors Office.
“This amendment expands the chance for treatment for patients with rare or incurable diseases and young children with epilepsy (seizures) especially will hopefully be able to receive proper treatment.”
— Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (FDA)