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Jakarta Post

Be flexible: Islamic party lawmaker wants Indonesia to export cannabis

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 31, 2020   /   12:31 pm
Be flexible: Islamic party lawmaker wants Indonesia to export cannabis Illustration of marijuana plantations. (Shutterstock/Noppadon stocker)

An Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician and House of Representatives lawmaker has suggested that the Trade Ministry export marijuana.

Rafli, a lawmaker from House Commission VI overseeing trade and industry, floated the idea during a hearing with Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto on Thursday.

"So Pak, how about we make ganja [marijuana] a good export commodity?" Rafli said during the meeting.

The PKS politician, whose electoral district is Aceh province, said marijuana was not as dangerous as most people might have thought, and that cannabis could even be used as an alternative for medical treatment.

Should his suggestion be accepted, Rafli said he would personally provide a plot of land in his home province to cultivate marijuana , particularly since the plants grew well in Aceh — where cannabis was not taboo, as Acehnese people traditionally use the substance as a spice in the kitchen.

“Marijuana, for instance, [can be exported] for maybe pharmaceutical purposes or other uses but we shouldn’t be too strict about this. We should be flexible,” Rafli said as quoted by tribunnews.com.

He said that Indonesia lacked experimenting with things that could awe the world, therefore if marijuana could become an export commodity for Indonesia, it could change how countries across the globe saw the archipelago.

"What I mean is that Indonesia must give performance that awes the world, whatever it is [such as marijuana export]. So all kinds of products [should be supported]," Rafli said.

Indonesia, which has one of the strictest drug laws in the world, currently bans the use and possession of marijuana. 

According to 2009 Law on Narcotics, marijuana is a type 1 narcotics which are illegal for consumption including for medical purposes and only limited to strict research purposes. (ami)