Cannabis Cultivation
Asia medical marijuana
Asia medical marijuana flag

Malaysia is the third nation in the Southeast Asian region were in the race of marijuana legalization have begun. Thailand advances on the race of legalized medical marijuana a few months ago. 

National Anti-Drugs Agency director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said there was a provision in the law that permits for the cultivation of marijuana with particular restrictions or approval. Marijuana seeds can be grown for medicinal purposes and research, with the approval from the Minister of Health.

“If there is enough information to show it is safe and effective for use for certain conditions, then the ministry will be able to consider based on the particular indication,”— Deputy Health Minister Dr. Lee Boon Chye.

Malaysia’s Stand On Medical Marijuana Legalization

Under Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, people caught possessing 200 grams or more of marijuana can be charged under drug trafficking, which displays the mandatory death penalty. The current punishment and sentencing had also prompted Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to request a revision of the present drug laws.

The Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 expressively limits the possession, sale, use, importation, and exportation of opium, cocaine and marijuana substances. However, there is procurement in the act that permits for the use of these substances for medicinal purposes with permission.

“These plants cannot be cultivated scattered over, because they are drugs. Therefore, we need to have control over it. Some countries have already had such activities. Perhaps one day, when Malaysia has it, we can be an exporter but a legal one. That’s why it’s vital that if the cannabis is really a drug, the Health Ministry has to verify it because they have the authority to do so,” 

Lately, remarks to make medical marijuana legal have been discussed in the public— a positive sign although notwithstanding the firm stance by many against the marijuana plant could change lanes to legal marijuana.

In fact, marijuana was one of the factors which led Malaysia to abolish its death penalty a few months ago following a turmoil over the death sentence of a man found guilty for trading cannabis oil for medical purpose.

marijuana art
marijuana art

History of cannabis in Malaysia

Cannabis use among the native cultures of South-East Asia, including Malaysia, is likely to have lived for centuries. There is a very small study available into the use of substances that induce any type of spiritual experience practices of ancient Malay tribes. 

What limited traditional use did exist has seemingly died out in the progression of successive prohibitive governments, both colonial and modern. However, it has been noted that the plant was traditionally practiced for relief of asthma by the indigenous natives in the provinces of Malaysia. Cannabis is known to have been used by Arab merchants in Malaysia since as early as the 8th century BCE.

It appears that marijuana use in the modern era was begun in the late 19th century, at a time when global shipping had become more accepted and the supply of products such as heroin and cannabis had started to take off in earnest. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, a blend of the outcomes of the Vietnam War and the rise of the ‘Hippie’ movement marked a rejuvenated interest in marijuana in Malaysian culture, which was profoundly influenced by the countless backpackers and soldiers who would pass through the Malaysian boundaries, or even stay for prolonged periods. A small culture of marijuana use maturely formed and began evolving smoking nowadays.  

The long silence on Malaysia’s Medical Marijuana legalization

It was the beginning of the year two thousand and public discussion of medical marijuana use was silence in Malaysia, a country with some of the world’s unrelenting drug laws. Growing a single cannabis plant at home can land the cultivator in prison for the rest of her life, while possession of more than 200 grams is nearly clear to result in a death sentence.

However, it’s unclear how soon any significant legal reforms on medical marijuana legalization could occur. Law Minister Liew Vui Keong emphasized that the government had “not come to any conclusion with regard to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes” but appended that he would be amending to review the evidence available and based on that probably make a proposal that the laws be improved.

The awareness of medical cannabis legalization

As well as a modest growth of cannabis use, Malaysia now has its own cannabis legalization campaign in the form of an organization known as GerakanEdukasi Ganja Malaysia (GENGGAM), which aims to educate the people and promote awareness of the potential health benefits of marijuana. The organization also endeavors to improve government research, and its critical goal is the cancellation of the death penalty for cannabis offenses.

In Parliamentary assembly, in October 2010 the MP for Bayan Baru constituency requested of the Minister of Home Affairs that the Malaysian government conduct research and studies to reschedule cannabis due to its limited harmful nature, although it does not resemble that the application was awarded. The head of the Malaysian AIDS Council, Zaman Khan, has also stated that his support for decriminalization of personal possession.

Cannabis Cultivation
Cannabis Cultivation

Cultivation of cannabis in Malaysia

Although breeding of autoflowering seeds is punishable by life imprisonment in Malaysia, there are some who are brave, frantic or foolish enough to attempt it—usually for personal or medical use, although at least one occurrence of possible commercial cultivation has been recorded.

A Selangor (state on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia) lawmaker wants to place his state on the world map as the largest cannabis producer in the world.

Jeram assemblyman MohdShaidRosli introduced to the Selangor state assembly that considering the Kuala Selangor area has been characterized as an agricultural cluster, his constituency should be the hub of cannabis production for medical research and export purposes.

Bottom Line To Legalize Medical Marijuana in Asia

The discussion over whether or not to legalize medical marijuana extended to spread across Southeast Asia as government officials, parliament members, and prominent Muslim activists in Malaysia added their voices to what’s grown to an overwhelming deliberation. Malaysia is in the middle of a dramatic transition led by a new reformist government that endeavors to end its use of capital punishment to dissuade crimes entirely over marijuana.

Natalie Gray
Natalie Gray

Natalie Gray is a Biochemical Engineer. She works in the Research and Development team that focuses on the design and construction of unit processes. She is a recreational marijuana supporter and her love for organic chemistry brought her to medical cannabis. She grows her own flowers, working on different projects and study everything above and under cannabis roots.

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