Long Road Ahead for Medical Marijuana Research: Medical Association

Diana Mariska
Cannabis illustration (Photo: ANTARA/Reuters/Chalinee Thirasupa/as)
Cannabis illustration (Photo: ANTARA/Reuters/Chalinee Thirasupa/as) - The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) said research into the safety aspect of medical marijuana in Indonesia will be a long process as Indonesia seeks to legalize its use to treat patients with certain medical conditions.

Chairperson of IDI’s central executive board Adib Khumaidi recently said the use of marijuana for medical purposes still requires a comprehensive research and study to get the definitive answer about its safety.

“We have to thoroughly research this because everything given to us, especially medicinal substance, will have side effects, and we need to pay attention to that,” Khumaidi said on Monday, July 4, as reported by Antara.

According to him, it needs to be studied whether a new medicine can act as the main medicine or the complementary one that is given alongside other drugs. Or it may also become an alternative medicine when other treatment fails to work.

“What we need to understand is when diagnosing a disease, there’s a gold standard to establish what needs to be treated and what the treatment would be. It’s all evidence-based,” the medical expert said.

He said IDI is open for collaboration with the Ministry of Health to initiate a scientific study on medical marijuana.

Earlier last month, a mother from Yogyakarta publicly demanded the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes that may help her child who suffers from cerebral palsy.

The House of Representatives has commented on the news, saying that it will discuss the matter very carefully and will involve experts in the process.

“The [decision] to accept or reject the possibility of marijuana legalization can’t be rushed,” member of Commission III Arsul Sani said on June 27, adding that study and assessment will be conducted in a very thorough manner with the involvement of medical and pharmacy experts.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) also said it’s open to deliberating and issuing a relevant fatwa on the use of marijuana for medical purposes since it’s considered a pressing issue.

“MUI has decided that marijuana is prohibited, but [only] if it causes problems; the Al-Quran also prohibits it. However, medical issue is an exception, and MUI has to create the fatwa first [before] allowing the use,” Vice President of Indonesia Ma’ruf Amin, who is also the chairperson of MUI’s advisory council, said the next day.

Amin also hoped that once issued, the fatwa could be the reference for the House of Representatives during the deliberation process to amend relevant law related to marijuana use.

Tag # medical marijuana # marijuana legalization # indonesian medical association # idi # indonesia marijuana # marijuana for medical

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