Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has formed a parliamentary caucus to study the use of medical marijuana and ketum in a bid to legalize their use in Malaysia.
The former youth and sports minister will lead the team of nine to meet with healthcare experts, researchers, industry players, non-governmental organizations, and relevant ministries to look into policy making involving the two substances currently listed under the First and Third Schedule in the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
Both marijuana and ketum, a plant with opioid properties, are illegal in Malaysia and those found in possession of both can be punished with imprisonment or a hefty fine of up to RM20,000 (US$4,800).
“This caucus has been formed to study the regulations and use of medical cannabis and ketum, as well as to study steps to decrease their side effects when used for medical purposes,” he said in tweets today.
Other members of the multiracial, multi-party team include Pengerang MP Azalina Othman, Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii, Kuala Langat MP Xavier Jayakumar, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, Penampang MP Ignatius Darell Leiking, Kuala Kedah MP Azman Ismail, Subiti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, and Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari.
This comes two weeks after the 28-year-old urged the government to look into legalizing medical cannabis and hemp so that Malaysia does not get left behind in the industry while other countries like Thailand and Australia were cashing in on the projected RM400 billion market.
“We don’t want Malaysia to be left behind when other countries have moved forward just because we ignore sensitive issues when there are detailed studies based on data and science,” he said in Parliament on Sep. 29.
This article, Syed Saddiq forms a team to study medical marijuana and ketum use, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.