Indonesia: Constitutional Court rejects call to legalize medicinal use of cannabis

Mothers of children with cerebral palsy will not be able to use cannabis as a treatment for their sons in Indonesia
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On July 20, 2022, the Constitutional Court of Indonesia rejected a judicial review of the narcotics law that sought to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis.

Southeast Asia has been immersed in the discussion of the legalization of medical cannabis led by Thailand, which this year passed the cannabis law.

“The court should emphasize that the government [should] [debería] immediately … the results of which can be used to determine policies, including in this case the possibility of changing the law,” Judge Suhartoyo said.

The judicial review was filed by three mothers of children with cerebral palsy, supported by civil society organizations. They wanted a change to the narcotics law from 2020.

These mothers argued that not using the benefits of cannabis in medicine was a constitutional violation of the right to health and taking advantage of advances in science and technology.

“The Constitutional Court has only transferred responsibility to the government by asking it to conduct an investigation immediately,” said Yosua Octavian of the Legal Aid Institute, a civil society group involved in the case.

Decriminalizing cannabis would be a drastic change for Indonesia, which is known to be one of the nations with the world’s toughest anti-drug laws that include life in prison and the death penalty.

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