The publicised trial of Nasyid singer Yasin Sulaiman, who initially faced the possibility of capital punishment, had graced multiple headlines with netizens and even Muar MP Syed Saddiq backing the beloved artist’s use of cannabis as a medical treatment.
He was charged under 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 when police found 214g of compressed dried leaves believed to be ganja as well as 17 ganja plants at his residence.
Yasin was represented by lawyer Yusmadi Yusoff, who requested the court to grant his client bail as he only cultivated cannabis to treat bipolar disorder. On July 7 2022, Yasin was spared from the death penalty after the prosecution suddenly decided to make a withdrawal.
The singer and composer was granted a discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) by a magistrates’ court on the cannabis trafficking charge. Despite escaping the gallows, he will be faced with two new charges.
He was charged with consuming the drug ’11-nor-delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid’ at the Narcotics Office of the Petaling Jaya District Headquarters (IPD) on March 24, shortly after 11 p.m.
The charge comes under Section 15 (1) (a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which is punishable with a fine of up to RM5,000 or a maximum jail sentence of two years under Section 15 (1) of the same Act.
Additionally, before Sessions Court Judge Jamaludin Mat, the accused pleaded not guilty to a new charge of possessing cannabis weighing 193.7gm, which is subject to Section 39A (2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, providing for life imprisonment or not less than five years, with no less than ten strokes of the cane.
Beyond the legal perspective of his case, the fact remains that the local artist struggles with his mental health, as seen in the lyrics of an unreleased song entitled ‘Aku Bipolar’ which Yasin posted on Instagram 2 days ago (July 24).
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In a series of short rhyming phrases, Yasin equates his life with bipolar to being on a rollercoaster, with his name publicly tainted and mind unsound.
The song also portrays how due to his chronically ill mental state, when Yasin is manic, he is fearless and cannot think logically despite what is shown on his exterior.
“Mind drifting, I experience psychosis. In need of cannabis as a treatment; not a synthetic internationalist, but capitalist Big Pharma prescriptions. When I’m hyperactive, I have insomnia. Selective memory, I have amnesia. I can’t bear to go back to mania, followed by a long depression,” read the heartfelt lyrics.
Towards the end of the song, Yasin explains that these sensations are what he has experienced for the past “millennium”, resulting in him needing lithium to mend the broken shards of his heart.
The phrase “I’m bipolar, please take note” concludes the piece.
In the caption of the post, the singer added the hashtag #solidarityforyasinsulaiman, which echoed in the comments section with netizens and other local celebrities including Pahang Princess Tengku Chanela herself expressing their love and support towards Yasin.
Some also praised Yasin for his vulnerability and not only becoming an advocate for medical cannabis, but for mental illness as well.
A quick glance at the artist’s Instagram page will affirm this statement, as his feed is mostly adorned with facts and information about medical cannabis and news clippings of the Malaysian government’s plan to provide a framework for the authorisation of CDB products within the next year.
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On June 23, Yasin was seen, all smiles, being escorted out of a courtroom where he told reporters that he believes cannabis should be delisted as a narcotic as “God created the plant as a remedy for common illnesses”.