KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should play a serious role and take progressive actions to allow the use of cannabis and hemp, especially cannabidiol (CBD) for medical purposes, said Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi (pic).
The Senate member representing persons with disabilities (OKU), said the usage of the substances is to increase access to quality health services for their well-being.
"It is in line with Strategic Thrust 4 of the Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities (OKU) 2016-2022, which is to increase access to quality health services for their well-being,” she said in a statement here Friday (May 6).
Ras Adiba said this was also in line with Malaysia's commitment to Article 25 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which emphasised that the OKU have the right to enjoy the highest standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability.
"Through the effort, it would open a new wing in the medical sector that could help reduce the effects of diseases such as chronic anxiety and so on which have been proven through several scientific studies,” she said.
Ras Adiba said the government and non-governmental organisations must intensify activities, campaigns and education for the public because knowledge related to cannabis use is still at a low level.
To this end, she proposed nine areas to the government for immediate action to enable cannabis and hemp to be used in the medical sector in Malaysia.
The proposed matter is to create a Cannabis and Hemp Roadmap by the Health Ministry (MOH) and the Parliamentary Medical Cannabis Caucus comprising stakeholders such as activists, non-governmental organisations, cannabis experts and representatives of vulnerable groups, especially OKU and the elderly.
It also proposed that the results of the study on the impact of cannabis cultivation be tabled in Parliament by the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry and to expedite the amendment of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 to differentiate between CBD and tetrahydocannabinol (THC).
In addition, it is proposed that the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti) develop new technologies through Gamma radiation to produce new variations of Cannabis Sativa that have low THC psychoactive substance content; making hemp cultivation in Malaysia as one of the main commodities that has similar characteristics to kenaf in terms of cultivation methods and hemp fiber processing technology.
Other things proposed are to provide research grants to institutes and universities to conduct research activities and clinical studies; the Higher Education Ministry and Mosti should work together to create a consortium research group that focuses on "Medical Cannabis" research.
Apart from that, it also proposed that Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin allows more industries to carry out hemp cultivation activities for research purposes under Section 6B (2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
"Most western countries, especially the United States, are now more advanced in the hemp and cannabis industry. Many scientific studies conducted in the country have proven to be effective in various sectors such as health, medicine, pharmaceuticals, beauty products and so on.
"Therefore, I am confident that by allowing the use of CBD and cannabis cultivation in Malaysia, it will help, among others, the OKU community and chronic patients of cancer, dementia, Parkinson's disease, seizures, mental problems and emotional stress," she said.
Ras Adiba said Malaysia as a country with world-class health tourism should also give emphasis on the use of "Medical Cannabis".
"When if not now," she said. - Bernama