The Fight for Medical Cannabis in Indonesia

The Fight for Medical Cannabis in Indonesia
High Times

Moms for medical cannabis reform is a powerful political and legal concept. Such campaigns have managed to change cannabis laws all over the world—from the United States and the U.K. to Israel and now, apparently, Indonesia. In what many, both domestically and globally, are calling a potential bellwether case that could flip other Asian and Muslim countries into at least the medical reform column, a group of mothers in Indonesia have filed a lawsuit that is now pending a Constitutional Court decision. The crux of the case is the plaintiff’s request to exclude cannabis from the country’s Type 1 narcotics list (which corresponds to the global Schedule I regulation imposed by U.N. mandate). The proceedings in the two-year long case ended in March after judges heard the testimony of nine experts (including one from Thailand) and after reviewing a wide variety of scientific reports on the medical efficacy of cannabis. There is no time frame for the court to reach their decision. Beyond this, patients would then have to wait for the government to issue new regulations. The laws against cannabis use in Indonesia are some of the toughest in the world. The death penalty is not unheard of for cannabis offenses. That said, the country has been wrestling with cannabis reform for the last several years. In 2020, the government declared cannabis a “medical plant” but this was subsequently reversed by the Agriculture Ministry. Simultaneous Political and Religious Momentum in Indonesia The most encouraging thing about this case is that the Constitutional Court is not the only national or authoritative body now reconsidering the legality of medical cannabis use. Last week, a group of lawmakers held a hearing where they listened to advocates about changing the laws around cannabis access. This in turn led to a Parliamentary promise to…

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