by Caleb Quinley, VICE

Thailand is on the verge of becoming the first country in Asia to legalize medical marijuana, with some advocates saying that nationwide legalization for recreational use might not be far behind.

It would be a landmark decision in a part of the world with some of the harshest drug laws on Earth. Thailand has the largest prison population in Southeast Asia, and the sixth-largest in the world. Inmates convicted of minor drug offenses make up the largest percentage of that population, and only 15 years ago, the country embarked on its own Dutere-style war on drugs that left hundreds of alleged drug dealers dead - including several weed dealers.