Mother's plea leads Indonesia lawmakers to consider legalising medical marijuana

Any changes would be done by revising the narcotics law, said parliament Deputy Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad. - AFP

JAKARTA, June 28 (Bloomberg): Indonesian lawmakers will discuss a plan to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, after a mother’s plea for the treatment for her child spread widely online.

Legislators will study the plan with the health ministry, parliament’s Deputy Speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad said in a statement on Tuesday.

Any changes would be done by revising the narcotics law, which bans the use of cannabis except for certain research purposes, he added.

Santi Warastuti went viral for joining Jakarta’s crowded car-free day on Sunday while bringing a placard that said, "Help, my child needs medical marijuana.”

Her child has cerebral palsy. Dasco met Warastuti in Jakarta on Tuesday, and vowed to raise the issue with legislators who are deliberating the law.

Neighboring Southeast Asian countries have started to ease restrictions on cannabis use.

Thailand legalised marijuana consumption in June, while Malaysia allowed cannabis use for medicinal purposes last year.

Indonesia has strict laws against the use and distribution of controlled substances including marijuana, with a maximum sentence of 12 years imprisonment. - Bloomberg

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