Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye clarified today that Putrajaya will consult special subject experts, before determining whether or not to legalise marijuana use for medical treatment.
“Of course, there are people who say it can be used for chemotherapy to prevent vomiting and other side effects and also help people with sleeping problems.
“However, we’ve got to balance between the medical benefits and the side effects. So we need experts to go through this before we can legalise it,” he told reporters after visiting the Malim Nawar Health Clinic here.
Dr Lee also pointed out that the opinion is still split over legalising marijuana, even in countries such as the United States.
“Even there, some states have legalised marijuana and some state still haven’t. So there is no accurate answer at the moment whether it’s safe,” he said.
Dr Lee also said the government is currently reviewing all death penalties, including the death sentence under the Dangerous Drug Act.
“Marijuana is classified as a dangerous drug at the moment. However, when the death penalty on drugs is reviewed, of course we will review marijuana as well,” he said.
Malaysia started talks on legalising marijuana for medical purpose after a 29-year-old was handed the death penalty two months ago for possessing, processing and distributing medical cannabis oil, which sparked public outrage.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar have both said that the verdict and relevant laws should be reviewed in the country.