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Thailand’s new government is moving ahead to pass new legislation banning cannabis for recreational use in a major reversal 18 months after the country became the first in Asia to decriminalise the plant.

The relaxed laws saw a lucrative cannabis industry catering to locals and foreigners alike boom across the South-East Asian nation, but a new conservative coalition government came to power late last year vowing to tighten the rules and only allow medical use.

A draft bill was released on Tuesday by Thailand’s health ministry outlining hefty fines or prison sentences of up to one year for offenders – or both.

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