By Mei Mei Chu and Chayut Setboonsarng / Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR/BANGKOK, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Malaysia plans to learn from the cannabis policy of neighbouring Thailand in its effort to legalise use of the drug for medical purposes, a health ministry official said on Wednesday, in a country where possession can bring the death penalty now.

The comments came after the Thai health minister said he would meet his Malaysian counterpart during a meeting of APEC health ministers next week where Thailand will showcase its work in legalising medicinal marijuana.

With a tradition of using cannabis to calm pain and fatigue, Thailand legalised medicinal marijuana in 2018, becoming in June the first Asian nation to decriminalise cultivation of marijuana and its consumption in food and drink. read more

"We are developing our own framework for the usage of cannabis for medical purposes, and want to learn from Thailand," the Malaysian official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.