Indonesian court rejects legalising medical marijuana

The Indonesian Constitutional Court has rejected a judicial review of decriminalising the nations drug laws which would have made medicinal marijuana a possibility in the country.

The case follows on from the plight of a mother that gained national prominence after Indonesian actress and singer Andien highlighted the case of her and her child with cerebral palsy.

This led to the Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has calling on the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) – the highest Islamic clerical body in the nation – to issue a fatwa to allow marijuana for medicinal purposes.

However, the judges presiding over the review stated that there was insufficient evidence to rule in favour of the plaintiffs.

They did though urge the government to begin research into the use of narcotics for therapeutic purposes thereby suggesting that this is not the end of the story just yet.

Judge Suhartoyo when making the decision said “The court needs to emphasise that the government [should] immediately follow up … The results of which can be used to determine policies, including in this case the possibility of changing the law.”

Indonesia’s parliament has said that they will conduct an a study on the benefits of medicinal marijuana.

Indonesia is known for its strict drug laws with punishment for possession or trafficking coming with life sentences as well as the death penalty. A move to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes would mark a sharp contrast to their current laws.

The legalisation would have followed in the footsteps of another south east Asian country, Thailand, which recently decriminalised cannabis for recreational purposes.


Ross Chalmers

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