While many countries across the world have taken advantage and benefitted from using cannabis and cannabinoids to treat certain diseases, our Malaysian society seems to still be skeptical of it due to the culture of using it recreationally.
But, the president of the Malaysian Medical Hemp Association, Prof Dr Mohamad Hussain Habil himself has admitted that the community’s stigma against the use of cannabis in medicine needs to be put behind us so that the objective of using the method can be understood more widely.
“The use of cannabis to treat certain diseases is no longer an unfamiliar thing to foreign countries and this puts Malaysia far behind because we are still hesitant to approve the use of cannabis in medicine.”
“Many people are not clear (on this) because our goal is not to make use of cannabis without reason, our focus is more on medicine,” he said.
Based on a report by Astro AWANI, he shared that there are many benefits of cannabis in treating diseases and it is effective for mental health and cancer patients, including reducing nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy.
On top of that, the natural properties of cannabis that can stimulate appetite, are also able to help people with HIV/AIDS.
“When we say cannabis for medicine, then it is not to be used arbitrarily but rather it needs advice and approval from experts to treat certain patients.”
If there is control and monitoring by experts, then the use of cannabis for treatment will not lead to addiction.
However, due to the lack of research and clinical trials following restrictions and prohibitions by the authorities, the true potential of cannabis cannot be fully utilised.
In fact, this can also make some individuals or patients fearful even though they know that cannabis can treat or reduce the pain of the diseases they have. This will then lead them or encourage them to spend more to get similar treatments in neighbouring countries.
“What’s sad is when we see enforcement authorities taking action without an investigation, they should have referred the cannabis positive individual to medical experts and not be too quick to punish. That action is like persecuting those who really need an alternative method of treatment, so the law should not be stricter than the effects of using cannabis itself,” Prof Dr Mohamad Hussain added.
He has since emphasised that Malaysia will continue to lag behind if the medical cannabis is not given priority, including the question of making decisions about the effort.
The negative perspective can also be overcome if the parties involved, including the community, are given a more inclusive understanding and disclosure of the purpose of using cannabis and cannabinoids.
Despite this, Dr Mohamad Hussain explained that Malaysia has the best quality of cannabis as compared to foreign countries. This, in turn, benefits the parties who have already taken advantage of it by making a huge profit.
However, the results of scientific studies that are submitted seem to be ignored and there is no positive response from the government.
“This effort should have been approved a long time ago, but it seems we are still waiting and this for me is quite sad. Have some sympathy for the patients, what phobias do we really have of (medical cannabis) to cause us to be too slow to act?” he shared.
Do you think medical marijuana or cannabis should be legalised in Malaysia? Do feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.
Also read: “Can you get arrested if you get high in Thailand?” – This is What You Need To Know