Malaysia remains a potentially dangerous place to engage in anything related to medical marijuana. And that includes distributing it free of charge to patients who could benefit from it. Just last week, a man was sentenced to death for giving medical grade cannabis oils to patients in need.
Death Sentence For Distributing Medical Marijuana
On August 30, a judge in Malaysia sentenced Muhammad Lukman Bin Mohamad to death. The sentence came after the judge found Lukman guilty of breaking the country’s notoriously strict anti-cannabis laws.
According to local news sources in Malaysia, Lukman was arrested when authorities discovered just over three liters of cannabis oil. Additionally, he was found in possession of 279 grams of compressed cannabis.
All of this occurred in December 2015. Now, nearly three years after being arrested, Lukman received his sentence. Specifically, he was found guilty of breaking Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952.
This law states: “No person shall, on his own behalf or on behalf of any other person . . . traffic in a dangerous drug.” Further, the law stipulates: “Any person . . . guilty of an offence against this Act shall be punished on conviction with death.”
Given that cannabis remains an illegal substance in Malaysia, the judge ruled that this law applied to Lukman’s case. Lukman is now being held in Kajang Prison. At this time, sources indicate that he plans to appeal the decision in the country’s Court of Appeal.
Guilty for Giving Medical Marijuana to Patients
Throughout Lukman’s case, his defense argued that his acts did not constitute drug trafficking. In particular, they focused on the fact that he was not distributing recreational drugs. Instead, defense lawyers argued, Lukman was distributing medicine to patients who might not otherwise be able to get it.
Further, the defense pointed out that Lukman was not making a profit. Lukman was in fact working in cooperation with an organization that educates the public on issues related to medical marijuana.
Lukman was not profiting from his distribution, either, since patients who could not afford the product were given it for free. In addition to all this, Lukman and his defense team pointed to the growing body of scientific evidence supporting the medical use of cannabis.
Despite all this, the prosecutors maintained that Lukman still broke the country’s laws prohibiting all forms of marijuana. They also claimed that although marijuana is increasingly accepted throughout the world, there is nothing in Malyasian law that allows for the medical use of cannabis.
One Of The World’s Worst Anti-Cannabis Countries
Malaysia has long had some of the world’s most heavy handed anti-cannabis laws. Most obviously, this reputation comes from the fact that a person can still be sentenced to death for breaking certain drug laws.
But Malaysia isn’t the only country where a person can be sentenced to death for possessing, distributing, or consuming cannabis. In fact, there are still a surprisingly large number of countries throughout the world with these types of laws in the books.
Along with Malaysia, this list includes countries like China, Egypt, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, Nigeria, and several others.