A Country that Punishes Drug Traffickers with Death is Investing in Medical Marijuana

One of the countries with the world’s harshest drug laws is planning to invest in medicinal pot.

Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) this month (Jan. 10) announced that it would develop synthetic cannabinoids, or chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant, as part of a broader S$25 million ($19 million) investment by the body into synthetic biology. The initiative will help boost Singapore’s push to develop a “bio-based economy,” and grow new industries and create jobs in a sustainable way.

The NRF, which is affiliated with the National University of Singapore, said it plans to produce strains of medicinal cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant for therapeutic purposes relating to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Cannabinoids include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive element of weed) and cannabidiol (CBD, which is used for pain relief and produces no high).

– Read the entire article at Quartz.