12/08/2022

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Indonesian court docket regulations in opposition to legalizing clinical narcotics, marijuana

JAKARTA, Indonesia: Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has rejected a judicial review of the country’s narcotics law, which could have potentially legalized marijuana and narcotics for medical treatments.

In 2020, a judicial review of the country’s strict narcotics law was filed by three mothers of children with cerebral palsy, backed by civil society organizations.

While urging the government to “immediately” conduct research on the therapeutic usage of narcotics, the judges said there was insufficient research to justify a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs.

“The court needs to emphasize that the government should immediately follow up. The results of which can be used to determine policies, including in this case the possibility of changing the law,” the court wrote, at that time.

Indonesia has one of the world’s most stringent anti-drug laws, with penalties for possession or trafficking of large quantities of narcotics, including life imprisonment and death.

However, those seeking the use of drugs said that not being allowed to use narcotics for medical reasons was a constitutional violation of citizens’ rights to obtain health services and benefit from the development of science and technology.

“The Constitutional Court has only shifted the responsibility to the government by asking the government to immediately conduct research,” said Yosua Octavian from the Legal Aid Institute, a civil society group involved in the case, according to Reuters.

“The point has been rejected. So people who use marijuana for health reasons in Indonesia will continue to be punished,” he added.

After a video of a campaigner went viral on social media, the issue became a national talking point.

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Standing in downtown Jakarta, Santi Warastuti, one of the plaintiffs whose 13-year-old daughter has cerebral palsy, held a placard that read, “Help, my child needs medical marijuana.”

In response to the ruling, Indonesia’s parliament has said it would undertake a comprehensive study.