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Syed Saddiq leads multi-party caucus on medical marijuana and ketum

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman speaks during a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex July 22, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman is helming the newly formed parliamentary caucus on medical marijuana, which also has representatives from PAS and other parties, to study its uses as well as that of ketum.

The former youth and sports minister made the announcement via Facebook, adding that the caucus would be meeting with health experts, researchers, industry stakeholders, NGOs as well as related ministries to look into policy formulation for the matter.

“Other countries have already moved far ahead in the implementation of policies related to medical cannabis and ketum. Malaysia should also do the same. We must look into it now.

“In fact, the medical cannabis caucus will also be made up of MPs from various parties, such as Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda), Umno, PAS, Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), DAP, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), PKR and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS),” Syed Saddiq, who also leads Muda, added.

Others in the group include Pengerang MP and the prime minister’s special adviser (law and human rights) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Khalid Samad (Shah Alam), Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar Arulanandam (Kuala Langat), Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking (Penampang), Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen (Bandar Kuching, Dr Azman Bin Ismail (Kuala Kedah), Lukanisman Awang Sauni (Sibuti) and Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (Pasir Mas).

Malaysia has very strict drug laws. Section 6 of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952 prohibits the possession of cannabis, an offence punishable with imprisonment of up to five years, or a fine not exceeding RM20,000.

Under Section 39A of the same law, those found with over 50g are punishable with a jail term of at least five years and at least 10 strokes of the rotan.

Ketum is an indigenous plant with opioid properties and mild stimulant effects. It is sometimes used in the treatment of chronic pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

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