KUALA LUMPUR: The Government should consider decriminalising ganja usage, a Youth Parliament representative said.
Muhamad Ridhwan Muhamad Rosli said there are youths who did not consider marijuana as a drug.
"Ganja is not a drug.
"I am merely expressing the views of the youths that I meet at the grassroots," he said in his debate on the motion on improvements to the nation's drugs laws at the Youth Parliament on Wednesday.
The Selangor Youth Parliament representative said the issue was raised by some youths after the country becoming a signatory to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
"They said that ganja is legal in US and Australia, which are part of the TTPA.
"If such, we should follow suit and be on par with them so as not to be against the TPPA," he added.
Muhamad Ridhwan stressed that he was not advocating legalising ganja but merely suggesting that its use be regulated.
"We are not asking for it to be legalised but supervised," he said.
At present, he noted that more than 60% of addicts are hooked on morphine and heroine, 30% on methamphetamine and only 8% on ganja.
"If we supervised the use of ganja, the numbers could be reduced to zero," he said.
He added that in 2013, a total of 85,000 persons were charged with possession of drugs and 81,000 in 2014.
He suggested a more holistic approach in rehabilitating addicts.
Sarawak Youth Parliament representative Hannah Maria Lamat said that drug addicts should not be seen as criminals.
"A drug addict is not a criminal but an addict.
"They only become criminals if they rob, rape and do other negative things," she said.
Earlier, Perak Youth Parliament representatives Mohd Rizmel Nazrin Dato' Abdul Malik, who raised the motion, said those who tested positive for drugs should not be detained at the lock ups but brought to hospitals or special centres for treatment.