Health Ministry approval needed for medical marijuana research, says Dzulkefly

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the government will not obstruct any attempts to conduct clinical research into the efficacy of medical marijuana. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the government will not obstruct any attempts to conduct clinical research into the efficacy of medical marijuana. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

PUTRAJAYA, April 8 — The government will not obstruct any attempts to conduct clinical research into the efficacy of medical marijuana, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said as long as the individuals or organisations concerned apply through the proper channels to the ministry, he would consider them.

“Seeking consent of wanting to do any kind of medical research on medical marijuana falls under my jurisdiction,” Dzulkefly said during the World Health Day 2019 celebrations here.

He was asked about the matter following National Anti-Drugs Agency director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah’s remarks in February that marijuana plants can be planted for medical research and study so long as the Health Ministry grants permission.

However, Dzulkefly admitted that at present no one has yet approached the ministry to apply for the right to conduct research into medical marijuana.

Last month, Jeram Assemblyman Mohd Shaid Rosli urged the Selangor state government to consider legalising marijuana growing for medical purposes, since it could become a lucrative source of revenue for the state.

His proposal was dismissed by Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari, who said cultivating medical marijuana in Selangor is irrelevant as it is still legally classified as a dangerous drug in Malaysia.