Fears of drug abuse aside, Indonesia should give medical marijuana more thought

Although steps have been taken to allow research, officials say marijuana potentially causes dependency, and the costs of legalisation would outweigh the benefits
South China Morning Post (Hongkong)
Sunday, March 8, 2020

indonesia cannabis burning acehThe cannabis plant is not new to Indonesia. According to Inang Winarso, executive director of the Sativa Nusantara Foundation, an organisation actively researching the use of medical marijuana, it was first brought by merchants and sailors from Gujarat in India to Aceh in the 14th century to be used not only for smoking, but also as a steeped drink, a cooking spice, and as a type of pest control. In recent years, grass roots efforts to legalise medical marijuana have gained ground, but by most accounts these seem bound for failure because the government remains resistant to the idea. The government has granted access to marijuana in limited quantities for research purposes, but it has never been serious about at least attempting to see marijuana as an alternative medicine.