The discussion surrounding marijuana has persisted throughout the years, so much so that it has engendered an uprise of activists who support the legalisation of the plant.
Coming in the form Pahang Princess, Tengku Chanela and Padang Besar MP Zahidi Zainul Abidin, the conversation towards researching the benefits of plants that have been categorised as narcotics instead of shying away from them due to stigmas has continued to make headlines in the country.
The repercussions of administering and owning cannabis and hemp has also been prevalent through news of youths and business owners sentenced to death by hanging and Dr. G’s persisting legal battle in death row.
Despite the numerous insightful discussions being held on the advantages of cannabis, Malaysia still refuses to back down from their stance on the plant.
Muar MP Syed Saddiq does not agree with the government’s disapproval of hemp and marijuana. Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, he urged the government to consider legalising the production and sale of the plant for medical use.
He argued that cigarettes and alcohol are far more harmful than the cannabis plant, yet it is being sold nationwide.
When debating the 12th Malaysia Plan in parliament today, he said, “I hope the government can table a transparent and sincere working paper driven by science and data on the good and bad of legalising the hemp and medical marijuana industry.
“Studies have shown that cigarettes and alcohol are much more dangerous, yet we don’t have the courage to discuss this with facts and figures.”
As reported by JUICE, many youths turn to marijuana as a means to alleviate pain and mental health issues. Thailand has also listed the many benefits of the plant towards cancer patients.
More than 40 countries have legalised the plant including United States, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Denmark and Thailand.
The MP continued to say that Malaysia should keep up with the market or risk being left behind.
He stated, “The industry’s current market worth is about RM60 billion. It is projected to reach RM400 billion in four years’ time.
“We don’t want Malaysia to be left behind again, when other countries have moved forward, and we are only going to do it 10, 20 years from now, when it is already too late.
“We don’t want discussions on this issue to be ignored just because it is sensitive… The 12MP is about planning for the future. There needs to be moral courage to discuss these difficult issues.”
It is important to note that the threshold for the possession of cannabis has remained the same since 1983 without any revisions even though the usage of cannabis in Malaysia has changed drastically since then.