KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — A study to identify the attitudes and acceptance of medical cannabis (marijuana) among medical practitioners in Malaysia was underway, the Health Ministry said today.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the research has already been registered in the National Research Medical Register (NMRR) — a database of clinical trial, medical and health related research — under the ministry’s purview.

Khairy said this in a parliamentary reply to Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad who had asked the former to state the outcome of his visit to Thailand to study alternative medical practices that use cannabis.

“This research will identify the attitude and trust towards the use of medical cannabis amongst medical practitioners in Malaysia.

“The result of this research will serve as a benchmark towards the perception on the use of medical cannabis in Malaysia,” Khairy said in the reply.

Accordingly, the research involves a total of 456 participants.

Khairy also said the Institute For Clinical Research was also gathering and scrutinising several clinical practices involving medical cannabis as practised in Thailand and several other countries.

“Besides that, there are also several clinical trial research projects being drawn up by a group of ministry medical experts regarding the use of cannabis in treating patients such as chronic pain and cancer pain,” he said.

In August, Khairy’s bilateral working visit was at the invitation of Thailand’s deputy prime minister and public health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, to explore the potential health benefits of cannabis.

Thailand is the first South-east Asian country to legalise the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Khairy said the working visit had achieved its overall objective of providing exposure to his ministry on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and its cultivation in order to explore their potential usage in Malaysia’s medical industry.