Give medical marijuana a chance, says activist

(AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association chief activist Nadzim Johan has urged the authorities to accept the use of imported cannabis-based products for medical purposes.

He said many clinical studies on the issue had been conducted both locally and abroad.

“We have to look into how far the use of the products can be controlled, and at the same time, carry out more clinical research on the plant and how it can be used as an alternative medicine.

“It would be a huge loss if we refused to make optimal use of the plant when it has proven effective in the treatment of various illnesses, including cancer and nerve diseases,” he told Bernama when contacted.

He added that cannabis-based products could reduce the cost of treatment as they were cheaper and the plant could be cultivated commercially, in line with legal provisions related to controlled plants.

“We are aware that the cost of treatment, especially for cancer, is very high and a great burden. So if there is an alternative, it may help patients.

“Right now, the most acceptable alternative is cannabis-based products, which have been accepted in the US, Thailand and Mexico,” he said.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye recently said that the government would only consider cannabis-based products for medical purposes if there is strong evidence of its efficacy and safety.

He said pharmaceutical companies and others who wished to import the drug must show proof that it is safe and effective.