Malaysia continues to have the harshest cannabis laws in the world, including death for convicted marijuana dealers.
Irony is lost on bureaucrats and sometimes fairness can be skewed. This is our followup on our article about Amiruddin Nadarajan Abdullah, 64, better known as Dr. Ganja or Dr.G. It doesn’t have the best ending, but it isn’t the worst. Can you imagine jail for using medical marijuana to save your life?
After suffering for years, Dr. G used medical marijuana to manage the pain and have a level of recovery. Malaysia, having some of the globe’s toughest laws, felt it was better for him to suffer without marijuana and, upon his feeling better, sentenced him to death.
Malaysian Princess Tengku Chanela Jamidah, campaigned and used connections to help save him. Descending from the Pahang royal family, this mother of 2 helmed major fashion and beauty brands, Thavia and Dida, before moving to the US to reinvent herself as a wellness guru and cannabis campaigner. She made international news championing Dr. G.
After being diagnosed with a painful spinal cord tumor that caused him to lose a kidney, Dr. Ganja, who struggled with chronic pain and chemo-related fatigue, decided to seek out alternative treatments that eventually led him to medical cannabis in the form of hemp seed oil. It worked wonders for him until he was arrested and charged for distributing chocolates and brownies made with hemp seed oil. Dr. Ganja is actually not an MD. He earned that nickname because of his habit of inviting people suffering from cancer and other ailments into his home and sharing his hemp oil medicine with them. Known as a gentle man with a love of poetry, he wanted to help fellow patients.
Dr. G, who served in the Malaysian army for 22 years, was arrested in 2017 and charged with 36 offenses under Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act. His charges included a penalty of death, after medical marijuana saved his life.
International pressure was placed on the country. Following a United Nations decision recognize the medicinal properties of cannabis, progressive drug policy advocates hoped countries around the world would catch up with evolving attitudes towards the substance, as a multi-billion dollar global medical marijuana industry continues to expand. The Princess made a major social media push. People waited until finally a decision was made.
The good news is Dr. Ganja, escaped the gallows after the Malaysian High Court amended the 16 charges against him and instead sentenced him to 9 years in prison.
The judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently starting from the date of his arrest in May 2017, and for him to be released from prison, as he had already served a third of his sentence.
In the modern age where the American Medical Association and the United Nations both see medical marijuana as a health benefit, it is hard to see laws in countries like Malaysia.