PETALING JAYA: On May 22, the Court of Appeal upheld a death sentence for Muhammad Lukman for trafficking marijuana under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
According to Lukman however, he manufactured marijuana-based substances to treat patients suffering from diseases like bipolar disorder, as reported by FMT. Nevertheless, the appeals court decided that no evidence exists which point towards the fact that marijuana has medicinal qualities - despite patients coming forward and testifying.
Netizens, however, seem to disagree with the court’s decision as a petition for Lukman’s release has garnered over 70,000 signatures. “For those of us who have never been exposed to this marijuana, we consider it a taboo topic, but actually marijuana is now increasingly accepted in many countries of the world as one of the herbs that have the nourishment and advantages especially in treating various chronic diseases,” the petition said.
Lukman’s lawyer Samantha Chong, was quoted in the petition, suggesting that it is a waste of taxpayer’s money to clog up prisons with non-violent drug offenders. “Every time I go for international conferences and tell others that in Malaysia you can be hanged for possession of 200g of marijuana, those in the outside world are shocked. We are wasting money, clogging up the justice system and over-crowding our prisons. Now around 59% of cases in the prison are those who commit non-violent drug-related offenses,” she said.
The petition can be viewed here