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Consider approving hemp, medical marijuana farming, says Syed Saddiq

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 29/9/2021 Nicholas Chung
Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the hemp and medical marijuana market was worth RM60 billion now and was expected to breach the RM400 billion mark in four years’ time. © Provided by Free Malaysia Today Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the hemp and medical marijuana market was worth RM60 billion now and was expected to breach the RM400 billion mark in four years’ time.

KUALA LUMPUR: Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent-Muar) has urged Putrajaya to look into approving hemp and medical marijuana farming here in Malaysia, pointing to its economic and health benefits.

The former youth and sports minister told the Dewan Rakyat today that the current hemp and medical marijuana market was worth RM60 billion and was expected to breach the RM400 billion mark in four years’ time.

“I don’t want Malaysia to be left behind on the matter just because the issue is sensitive, when studies based on data and science have shown that industries like alcoholic drinks and cigarettes are more dangerous,” he said.

He added that this was not a new issue as the Pakatan Harapan government had conducted studies and discussions on the matter, based on scientific facts.

“I hope the government can table a working paper that’s transparent and sincere, driven by data and science on the pros and cons of approving hemp and medical marijuana farming,” he said when debating the 12th Malaysia Plan.

Syed Saddiq said countries like the United States, Australia, Denmark and even close neighbour Thailand had already approved the industry, urging the government to have the “moral courage” to discuss the proposal.

He added that this would also benefit those struggling with certain mental health illnesses such as bipolar disorder, as medical marijuana was already being used as an alternative treatment for such cases overseas.

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He said a special committee could be formed to look into the matter. The home ministry should be involved to ensure the drugs can be regulated well while the health ministry would study the data.

“We must talk about this. I don’t want us to do this 10 to 20 years from now, when it’s too late.”

Previously, Padang Besar MP Zahidi Zainul Abidin had also urged the government to legalise the cultivation of hemp and ketum plants following the move by Thailand to remove the two from its dangerous drugs list.

The Umno man said farmers were requesting for these two plants to be allowed to be grown for commercial purposes as there was high demand globally.

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