Mufti for Federal Territories issues Fatwa on the use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes

Following the 116th meeting of the Federal Territory Syarak Law Consultative Committee on 1 April 2019, the Mufti for the Federal Territories issued a fatwa on 22 September 2022 that was gazetted on 9 November 2022 under P.U. (B) 526/2022, ruling that the law on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is permissible subject to the following requirements being met:
  i.    Permission being obtained from the relevant authorities;
  ii.    Validation being obtained from two medical experts; and
  iii.    Not used for purposes in breach of the law.

The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes have gained wide media coverage in the last few years. In December 2020, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs reclassified cannabis to recognise its therapeutic benefits. Thereafter, Thailand became the first Southeast Asian country to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes. However, some countries in the region especially Singapore are strongly opposed to this position. More recently, in July 2022, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court in Jakarta also rejected a judicial review of the country’s narcotics law that would have allowed for the legalisation of marijuana for medicinal use.
Closer to home, the Health Ministry is still assessing the potential use of cannabis and ketum for medicinal purposes and the legal framework for its use. Accordingly, this fatwa by the Mufti for the Federal Territories to tackle this issue within the Federal Territories of Malaysia is a bold move which would allay the concerns of Muslims on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Should similar fatwas be issued by other states in the country, it is foreseeable that our Health Ministry may be prompted to consider tackling this issue more effectively soon.
Alert by Muhammad Suhaib b. Mohamed Ibrahim (Senior Associate) of the Dispute Resolution Practice of Skrine.

This alert contains general information only. It does not constitute legal advice nor an expression of legal opinion and should not be relied upon as such. For further information, kindly contact