A young man aged 29 was arrested, charged and sentenced to death for being found with a few liters of cannabis oil in Malaysia. Cannabis on all its forms is illegal in this Asian country. However, the uproar about that conviction and sentence has forced the cabinet of that country to have a discussion about decriminalizing marijuana for medical purposes. Muhammad Lukman, the young man in question, had argued in court that the cannabis oil and other products were for helping patients suffering from cancer and other terminal diseases.
Change.org drafted a petition calling for Lukman to be freed and that petition has so far been signed by more than 60,000 people.
Xavier Jayakumar, the Minister in charge of Water, Land and Natural Resources in Malaysia revealed that he was comfortable with voting to legalize medical cannabis if it could help patients in the Asian country.
However, he was well aware that convincing his cabinet colleagues to decriminalize marijuana would be no small feat since opinions are strongly against cannabis. Matters aren’t helped by the fact that there is limited research in that country showing the medicinal benefits of marijuana.
The task of changing the legislation of cannabis is likely to be harder given that the health ministry in that country doesn’t believe that cannabis has any medical value. The views of that ministry are likely to carry a lot of weight when that matter is formally tabled for consideration.
This prohibitionist stance by the Ministry of Health in Malaysia is in stark contrast to the counterpart Ministry in Thailand where pressure is being piled on the government to pass legislation allowing cannabis to be used for medical purposes. Such a decision would also boost the economy since Thailand can produce and export the product around the world following the lead of Canada.
It should be remembered that no country on the Asian continent has legalized medical or recreational cannabis. In fact, the possession, trafficking and consumption of cannabis can attract the death sentence in most Southeast Asian countries. Singapore and Indonesia are notable for routinely handing out capital sentences to anyone found using cannabis.
It therefore remains to be seen whether the cabinet’s interest in medical cannabis will mature into a law regulating the use of marijuana for medical purposes, or whether that interest will fizzle out once Mohammad Lukman is spared the death penalty since the cabinet has already agreed to spare him that punishment. The discussions going on in Malaysia could be of interest to companies like GreenBox POS, LLC (OTC: GRBX) and Kolos Beverages Corp. (CSE: KBEV) (OTC: KBEVF) that would relish the chance to operate in a wider market.
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