Marijuana Farming in Malaysia Seeks Legalization

Marijuana plant (Michael Fischer/Pexels)
Marijuana plant (Michael Fischer/Pexels)

Malaysian Muda founder hopes for the legalization of marijuana farming for economic and health reasons. Marijuana has a bad reputation for its harmful effects on humans. Some people use it for medical purposes, while others use it for recreation.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of Cannabis sativa dried flowers. Others call it Mary Jane, weed, pot, grass, and other slang terms. It is used to brew teas when sold or ingested for medicinal purposes. Moreover, this substance is usually incorporated into foods, including cookies, brownies, or candies.

Marijuana vs. Hemp

The marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa) is shorter and has thick leaves. Hemp, on the other hand, is taller with recognizable feathery leaves. Both have seven to nine web-like leaves.

Hemp has less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), while marijuana has higher. Marijuana leaves and buds produce a resin containing a concentration of THC, a psychoactive substance. Both marijuana and hemp contain Cannabidiol, the main component of oil extracted from leaves and is not intoxicating.

Marijuana farming for economic and medical purposes

Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman urges the government to acknowledge the possibility of legalizing marijuana farming. It includes the marketing of hemp and marijuana for medical use. He remarked that cigarettes and alcohol are riskier than Cannabis.

“I hope the government can table a transparent and sincere working paper driven by science and data on the good and bad of legalizing the hemp and medical marijuana industry. We don’t want Malaysia to be left behind again when other countries have moved
forward, and we are only going to do it 10, 20  years from now when it is already too late,” said Rahman.

He stated that it’s no longer a new issue. The Pakatan Harapan government researched and discussed the subject according to scientific facts. He added that Australia, Denmark, the United States, and Thailand already approved marijuana farming. Other countries include Argentina and Canada. Rahman also stressed that people who suffer from mental health illnesses use medical marijuana for treatment.

Latest ASEAN country to approve Marijuana planting

Thailand is the latest ASEAN country to support marijuana planting in 2018. The government allows each family to grow up to six pots of Cannabis only to augment their income. However, it cannot be grown for recreational purposes.

Families may organize a community to grow marijuana and supply public hospitals with their crops. These hospitals have the permission to dispense cannabis oil (CBD oil) for chemotherapy patients. They also use this on patients with different chronic conditions with doctor’s prescriptions. Additionally, households can also incorporate marijuana in food cosmetic products for additional revenue.

The rest of the plant, which includes leaves, fiber, and branches, is made legitimate. The Thai government authorized its mixture in food and cosmetic products in December 2020.

Farmers request approval of Marijuana planting.

Malaysian farmers request the government to approve marijuana farming. If approved, they plan to plant hemp and ketum plants for commercial purposes for their high demand. Thailand removed these two plants from their dangerous drugs list.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has plans to allow using the plant to treat epileptic patients. However, keeping and using Cannabis is a significant crime under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002. A user can face imprisonment with fees up to P10 million for possessing at least 500 grams of marijuana.