Medical marijuana distributor’s death sentence put on hold

PORT DICKSON: The Cabinet has agreed to place a moratorium on Muhammad Lukman’s death sentence, who was recently sentenced for possessing, processing and distributing medical marijuana (cannabis oil).

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said he had raised the matter with the Cabinet and discussed it with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“As a consensus, we agreed that it (death penalty) should not have been imposed. At the same time, we have also agreed to put a moratorium on his death penalty,” Syed Saddiq told reporters during his visit to Pakatan Harapan’s youth machinery for the Port Dickson parliamentary by-election.

Lukman, a 29-year-old father of one, was arrested in December 2015 for having 3.1 litres of cannabis oil, 279gm of compressed cannabis, and 1.4kg of substance containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

He was nabbed by police along with his pregnant wife, who was freed later, during a raid at his home. He was handed a death sentence by the Shah Alam High Court on Aug 30.

The death sentence meted on him triggered a public outcry from various quarters, including Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, who said she would write an appeal to the Attorney General to seek a pardon for Lukman.

Syed Saddiq also said the Cabinet had agreed that patients who used medical marijuana should never be punished by the law.

“So, it’s two accounts. One is death penalty as a whole, which will be taken down. And second, at the same time, the usage of medical marijuana should never be punished by death penalty,” he added.

Pressed further on whether medical marijuana should be legalised, Syed Saddiq replied “one by one”.

Dr Mahathir, had on Sept 19, said that Lukman’s death sentence should be reviewed, while an online petition calling for his release, had garnered almost 70,000 signatures so far.

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