M’sian Princess Tengku Chanela & Drag Queen Laganja Estranja Team Up With Activists to Free Dr Ganja

(source: Forbes/Instagram)

If you’re an avid reader of JUICE, you would have definitely heard of Dr Ganja as we’ve covered his trial and even interviewed the filmmakers behind the heartbreaking documentary ‘Ayahku, Dr. G’. Another name you might recall from JUICE’s archives would be Pahang Princess Tengku Chanela Jamidah, who has called for the legalisation of marijuana in Malaysia.

Recently, the Princess alongside TV personality from the iconic RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jay Jackson, also known as Laganja Estranja, joined forces with an American cannabis activist group, the Last Prisoner Project (LPP) to help free Dr G.

Their mission is to dedicate as many resources as possible to Dr G whose real name is Amiruddin Nadarajan Abdullah, appeal from a possible death sentence, and potential release as he was caught selling chocolate bars and brownies made with hemp seed oil back in 2017.

Fahmi Reza’s artwork dedicated to Dr G (source: VICE)

According to Forbes, a screening of the documentary and fundraising event in Hollywood, California, sought to shine a spotlight on Dr G’s plight.

Tengku Chanela said that she has a vision that the people of Malaysia will accept cannabis as an inherent human right and that decision is as simple as access to healthcare.

The collaboration also marks the first international cannabis release push from LPP. Mary Bailey, Managing Director of LPP noted that this case holds a vision of freedom for every last cannabis prisoner around the globe and said that it’s important to use their platform to bring awareness to the injustice of Dr G’s case.

In case you didn’t know, LPP is a non-profit organisation dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform. LPP was founded in 2019 out of the belief that if anyone is able to profit and build wealth in the legal cannabis industry, those individuals must also work to release and rebuild the lives of those who have suffered from cannabis criminalisation.

Tengku Chanela and Steve DeAngelo at the fundraiser (source: Forbes)

Echoing the disbelief of many Malaysians when they heard the news of Dr G’s arrest, Jay Jackson aka Laganja Estranja said, “I truly couldn’t imagine my father, who is similar in age to Dr G and has also had a similar mission of helping people his whole life, being arrested for his kindness.

“It’s my hope that by providing visibility and teaching others, I can shift people’s perspectives and make access to plant medicine that much more possible for those outside of California. I think the first step though starts with educating yourself, which is exactly what happened at Jamidah’s fundraiser.”

In the interview with Forbes, Tengku Chanela also said that she wants to shed the construct that Hemp and Cannabis is an evil drug.

Tengku Chanela, LaGanja Estranja, Zoe Wilder, and Mary Bailey at the fundraiser (source: Forbes)

“(We want to) remind our people that this was something our ancestors used hundreds of years ago. It starts with education and coming from a permissibility angle in Islam as there is still so much confusion around the plant and its Medicinal use.

“My goal is to open the pathway for discussion and intelligent dialogue with faith leaders and medical professionals through my Halal Hemp initiative… I do see a regulated medical industry on the horizon and I believe this will be Malaysia’s salvation,” she said.

Follow Tengku Chanela on her Instagram for more updates.