The southeast Asian country continues to have the harshest cannabis laws in the world, including the death penalty for convicted drug traffickers.
By Nina Zdinjak
Life has a way of creating stranger-than-fiction scenarios like this one: first, you get cancer. Then you become strong enough to fight it off and survive. Then, after all that, you decide to be noble and humane and share the medical insights you gained while struggling with your health issues and you end up facing a death sentence…this time not from cancer, but a firing squad.
This is the story of Amiruddin Nadarajan Abdullah, 62, better known as Dr. Ganja or Dr.G.
After being diagnosed with a painful spinal cord tumor that caused him to lose a kidney, Dr. Ganja, who was struggling 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.
Despite a United Nations decision last year to recognize the medicinal properties of cannabis, many advocates hoped countries around the world would catch up with evolving attitudes towards the plant. Some did. Malayasia was not one of them. The southeast Asian country continues to have the harshest cannabis laws in the world, including the death penalty for convicted drug traffickers.
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.
“He isn’t a drug dealer or some drug lord,” his daughter Siti told VICE World News.
Malaysian Princess And The Last Prisoner Project Join Forces To Help Dr. Ganja
The Malaysian Princess Tengku Chanela Jamidah is collaborating with the Last Prisoner Project (LPP ) to support Dr. Ganja’s appeal, reported Forbes. Together they have launched an event to raise funds for his cause.
The fundraiser is the LPP’s first international cannabis project, but they’re all in.
“Last Prisoner Project holds a vision of freedom for every last cannabis prisoner around the globe,” said Mary Bailey, managing director of LPP, a non-profit involved in criminal justice reform.
Princess Jamidah said Malaysia should allow cannabis as an inherent human right. As a well-known figure in the fashion, beauty and entertainment sectors, she has used her broad platform for the last two years to promote cannabis legalization. She is also the official patron of the Malaysian cannabis advocacy group MASA.
‘I Will Not Stop Until He Is Free’
The Princess explained to Forbes that Malaysians should be reminded that cannabis and hemp have been used by their ancestors for hundreds of years.
“I am aware that there are many within the family and outside of the family who oppose what I do. This is not what I fear. I fear living a life that is not in honor of my authenticity and truth, I believe the plant is extremely intelligent and she is our teacher and I would rather live my life in acknowledgment of that truth than live a life deprived of my soul’s path and mission,” Jamidah said.
The princess emphasized the larger picture and the many patients in need of medical marijuana.
“We must consider the epileptic child, the cancer patient, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients that are faced with pain, suffering and risk their lives every day deprived of this medicine that has been proven to heal. What are my risks compared to their courage and survival?”
The princess is as adamant about freeing Dr. G as she is about the cannabis plant.
“Let my voice and activism be a vessel for Dr. G as we believe in the same truths, I will not stop until he is free,” the Princess said.
Those who wish may contribute to Dr. G’s Crowdfunding campaign. All proceeds will be used to support his death sentence appeal and, hopefully, his release.