Call for cannabis-based products to be used for medical purposes

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 11): The use of imported cannabis-based products should be allowed for medical purposes, said Malaysian Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan.

He said the Government and the parties involved should be more open to using cannabis for medical purposes as there have been many clinical studies conducted in medical laboratories, locally and abroad.

“It’s just that we have to look into how far the use of the products can be controlled and at the same time to carry out more clinical research on the plant and how it can be used as alternative medicine.

“It’s a huge loss if we refuse to make optimal use of the plant when it has been proven effective in the treatment of various illness, including cancer and nerve diseases,” he told Bernama here today.

He explained that apart from diversifying the types of medical treatments, cannabis-based products had also been seen capable of reducing the cost of treatment as they were cheaper and can be cultivated commercially in line with the existing law provisions relating to controlled plants.

“We are aware that the cost of treatment, especially for cancer, is very high and burdening. So, if there is an alternative, it may help those patients. Right now, the most acceptable alternative is the cannabis-based product, and it has been accepted in the United States, Thailand and Mexico,” he said.

Yesterday, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the Government would only consider cannabis-based products for medical purposes when there is strong evidence to show their efficacy and that they are safe for use.

He said pharmaceutical companies and others who wish to import the drug must show proof that it is safe and effective.