MCA SAID, LEGALISING CANNABIS & KETUM CULTIVATION MAY LEAD TO DRUG ABUSE AMONG YOUTHS
PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR : The cultivation of cannabis and ketum could bring additional revenue to the country, but it could also lead to drug abuse among youths if proper regulations are not in place, MCA Youth Vice-Chairman Chua Hock Kuan.
" We must not ignore the possibility of social problems arising from its abuse.
" Thus, before any decision on its legalisation is made, comprehensive regulations and surveillance must be in place to prevent its abuse, especially amongst youths," he added.
Chua also despite ketum and cannabis remaining illegal under the Dangerous Drugs Act, drug activities continue to be in the news.
" Even if the death penalty cannot stop narcotics activities, the legalisation of cultivation will no doubt encourage the influx of the drug, leading many youths astray.
" It is undeniable that drug abuse can lead to health and family problems, as well as the overall degradation of a community and country," said Chua in a statement on Monday (April 25, 2022).
On Sunday (April 24, 2022), Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the Cabinet has no objection towards the growing of cannabis and ketum for medical purposes.
Zahidi also said the demand for cannabis and ketum is high in international market and there are currently three countries that are main producers.
However, Chua disagreed with Zahidi, as he questioned whether the country should risk the future of Malaysian youths just for revenue.
" There are already a number of existing issues plaguing youth development," he said.
" The government should therefore think twice before introducing more unstable variables into the system," added Chua.
He also said Putrajaya should draft a set of effective strategies before considering legalising the cultivation of cannabis and ketum.
" When we read the news, be it mainstream or online, there are reports of drug abusers who have killed their family members, committed armed robberies or drove recklessly causing accidents and deaths under the compulsion of the drug.
" It is unthinkable what would happen to society if cultivation is made legal without efficient checks and conditions.
On April 12, 2022 the Medical Cannabis Caucus (MCC) said that it had held a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to discuss policy issues related to the hemp industry, medical cannabis and ketum for use in Malaysia.
It added that Ismail Sabri had given a positive response to issues raised and that the matter would be dealt with in further detail in a Cabinet meeting.
Hemp and cannabis are of the same species - cannabis sativa. However, the main difference is that cannabis contains the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes intoxication, while hemp-the plant fibre which is mainly used for industrial purpose-does not.
However, under Malaysian law, there is no distinction between both hemp and cannabis as they are both classified as cannabis under the Dangerous Drugs Act.
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@ Jackie San