The government will study the idea of legalising marijuana for medicinal purposes, said home minister Hamzah Zainudin in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was responding to a question by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent-Muar) on whether marijuana, which is still categorised as a dangerous drug, will be legalised to create new economic opportunities as well as allow parents to use medicinal marijuana to treat children with mental health problems.
Hamzah also said that there are existing platforms in the government to discuss the legalisation of marijuana.
“There is a special platform to discuss this legalisation issue, which is the Cabinet Committee on Combating Drugs (JKMB), which was created by the prime minister in 2004.
“Any matters related to drug control and regulation, which includes marijuana that is still classified as a dangerous drug under the Dangerous Drug Act 1992, will be discussed in the committee,” Hamzah said.
The import and use of products containing cannabis for medical purposes are allowed in Malaysia provided that they comply with the law, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Mr Khairy said that the current laws – the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, Poisons Act 1952 and the Sale of Drugs Act 1952 – do not prohibit the use of products containing cannabis for medicinal purposes.
He was replying to Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who had asked Mr Khairy about Malaysia’s stance on the use of hemp or medical marijuana as an alternative for patients, as has been implemented in many countries and recognised by the international medical community.
Mr Khairy said that any product containing cannabis has to be registered with the Drug Control Authority (DCA) as prescribed by the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation 1984.
“Importers must also have a licence and import permit under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation, the Poisons Act as well as the Dangerous Drugs Act.
“The sale or retail supply for medical treatment for selected patients must be carried out by a medical practitioner registered under the Medical Act 1971 or a registered pharmacist with a Type A licence to certain individuals based on prescriptions issued by registered medical practitioners,” he added.
He said that any parties who have sufficient scientific evidence to use cannabis (hemp) for any medicinal purposes can submit an application to register the product to the DCA for evaluation and registration under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation 1984.
Mr Khairy said that cannabis is also regulated under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 and listed under Schedule I of the convention.
This convention seeks to limit the possession, use, trade in, distribution, import, export, manufacture and production of drugs exclusively to medical and scientific purposes.
Taking to Twitter later, Mr Syed Saddiq said that he was “really impressed” with the answer given by Khairy and his team at the ministry.
“Data & science driven decision making process,” he said.