Despite an increasing number of countries legalizing marijuana (cannabis), Indonesia stands out with its strict regulations. Cannabis is listed as a Schedule I substance, categorizing it alongside heroin as one of the most dangerous and deadly substances.
Indonesia for decades has imposed imprisonment for both medical and recreational use of marijuana, even for the possession of small quantities of the substance for personal use. This absurd law recalls a famous quote by Martin Luther King Jr.: “An unjust law is no law at all”.
Let us take a moment to consider several examples of cannabis use in Indonesia, as well as the repercussions they invoked, the controversy that arose among the general public and the extensive media coverage that they garnered.
In 2017, a man was imprisoned for possessing marijuana in order to alleviate the suffering of his terminally ill wife, who tragically passed away while he was serving his sentence. In 2020, Musa, the son of Dwi Pertiwi, died on Dec. 26 after battling cerebral palsy for 16 years. His medical condition necessitated the use of medical cannabis, but regrettably, he passed away during the Constitutional Court trial in which his mother sought a judicial review of Narcotics Law No. 35/2009.
Another mother, Santi, finds herself in a similar situation, desperately in need medical cannabis for her daughter, Pika, who is also suffering from cerebral palsy. Santi has urged the government to review the Narcotics Law and has taken to social media to advocate for the legalization of medical cannabis. Her heartfelt message gained significant traction, garnering over 40,000 retweets on Twitter.
Considering the circumstances, a glimmer of hope is arising as certain influential government officials begin to embrace more progressive views regarding the use of medical cannabis.
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