A day prior to Merdeka Day, on 30 August 2018, Muhammad Lukman Bin Mohamad was sentenced to death by hanging for possessing, processing and distributing marijuana (aka weed) in the form of liquid. Oh dear.Â
The 29-year-old graduateÂ was charged with a mandatory death penalty because he reportedly possessedÂ three litres of cannabis oil and 279 grams of compressed cannabis.
If you didnât know, an individual is considered a drug trafficker if he/she possesses 200 grams of marijuana or more and will be sentenced to deathÂ if found guilty.
Prior to this,Â Lukman was arrested in 2015 along with hisÂ five-month pregnant wife but she was later released becauseÂ the wife was innocent.
Nonetheless, Lukmanâs supporters insisted that he is not a trafficker because his âmedicineâ helped save many lives. He reportedly gave this alternate medication to approximately 800 people, which benefited them.Â
A statement attributed to the Malaysian Awareness Society (MASA) wrote,
âThe cannabis oils were intended to treat diseases and not to get high or any criminal activities as claimed by the prosecutor. For those who were too poor to pay, Lukman provided them with free cannabis oil.â
In order to seek to justice for Lukman, one of his supporters created a petition via Change.org to the Attorney-Generalâs Chambers Malaysia, the Ministry of Health and the Malaysian Bar Council demanding his freedom.Â
The petition is accompanied with a lengthyÂ caption justifying why Lukman shouldnât be sentenced to death. Quoting a lawyer whoâs working on the reformation of the drug policy, Samantha, they wrote thatÂ marijuana isnât a âviciousâ drug compared to heroin and cocaine, which are harder drugs.Â Â
FYI, SamanthaÂ is a criminal law practitioner who is working on the drug policy reform.Â
According to her, people around the world are always shocked when they learn that, in Malaysia, one can be hanged for possessing 200 grams of weed.Â
She then added,
âWe are wasting money, clogging up the justice system and over-crowding our prisons. Now, around 59 per cent of cases in the prison are people who commit non-violent drug-related offences.â
Samantha believes that cannabis shouldnât be treated like hard drugs because the chances of addiction are very low.Â Not only that, the petition also called on a move to study and change obsolete drug laws.
The website reads,
âThe problem is, we misuse these things for fun until it destroys family institutions and so on. However, we should eradicate the mindset that everyone who uses drugs isÂ an addict.â
âNow that we are able to change the rules about gangsterism, why donât we also take a look into these obsolete laws on drugs.â
At the time of writing, the petition has been signed by 22,303 people and theyÂ aim to reach at least 25,000 signatures.Â
Do you think Lukmanâs death sentence is fair, considering that he didnât do any real harm to the people he treated and instead helped the poor? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!Â