Cannabis, or widely known as marijuana, has a bad reputation in society due to stereotypes surrounding it. In this country, it is considered an illegal drug and you can get punished for using and selling cannabis. However, what most people might not know is that cannabis can also be used in the medical field.
It is said to help with relieving pain, inflammation, anxiety, and insomnia. There are two types of cannabis plant; Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica, and there are also two types of active ingredients in cannabis; THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Despite THC having psychoactive properties, CBD is the opposite, which is why it is often used in the medical field.
Cannabis is still considered an illegal substance in Malaysia, but there has been talk of legalising it for medicinal purposes. However, according to Health Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, it must comply to the national regulations for both import and usage. He isn’t the first one to be discussing said issue, as Syed Saddiq has also asked the government to look into legalising hemp and medicinal marijuana back in September.
Although, only certified sellers (licensed pharmacists and registered medical practitioners) are allowed to be dispensing cannabis as long as they have enough scientific evidence and submit their products to the Drug Control Authority to be evaluated before letting it out to the market in Malaysia. Importers are also required to have license and import permits to import the drug. While patients who are to be treated with medicinal cannabis will require prescriptions in order to obtain products containing said ingredients, in order to avoid the misusage of the drug recreationally.
The plan has only been discussed and have yet to be formally approved by the government. Khairy Jamaluddin also stated that the government should not avoid the discourse on the topic just because of societal sensitivity, but instead look into the issue in a new light and our perspective should be guided by science rather than stereotypes. If the plan were to be approved, we, Malaysia, would be following the footsteps of countries that allow medicinal use of cannabis such as Thailand, Canada, Uruguay, along with the majority of states in the U.S.
Different people have different opinions regarding this issue. So, what is your view on this? Do you agree that medicinal marijuana should be legalised in Malaysia to help with various kinds of health problems? Or do you think that it is unnecessary to legalise it as it will only open the doors to even worse recreational drug problems in the country in the future?