Malaysia is one of the harshest places on earth when it comes to cannabis policy. For example, anyone caught with over 200 grams of cannabis in Malaysia faces a mandatory death sentence if convicted.
That is the potential sentence that famed Malaysian singer Yasin Sulaiman is currently facing after authorities allegedly found 214 grams of cannabis and 17 plants near his home.
As we previously reported, Malaysia is pursuing medical cannabis reform in an extremely slow fashion. Malaysia’s Health Minister recently indicated a willingness to team up with cannabis researchers, however, people question how sincere he really is.
A member of Malaysia’s Senate spoke out recently about the need for Malaysia to embrace medical cannabis. Per The Star:
Malaysia should play a serious role and take progressive actions to allow the use of cannabis and hemp, especially cannabidiol (CBD) for medical purposes, said Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi.
The Senate member representing persons with disabilities (OKU), said the usage of the substances is to increase access to quality health services for their well-being.
“It is in line with Strategic Thrust 4 of the Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities (OKU) 2016-2022, which is to increase access to quality health services for their well-being,” she said in a statement.
Medical cannabis reform obviously faces an uphill battle in Malaysia, and for that matter, most of the region. Neighboring countries Indonesia and Singapore also have very harsh cannabis laws.
One bright spot in the region is Thailand, which shares a border with Malaysia. Thailand is going to allow any household in the country to sign up to cultivate low-THC cannabis this June, and once that happens, I am hopeful that it convinces lawmakers in the region to soften their stances toward cannabis reform.