A Malaysian man has been condemned to death by a high court judge for possession and distribution of cannabis extract.
Muhammad Lukman Bin Mohamad was arrested in late 2015, when authorities claim they found a little over 3 liters of cannabis oil and 279 grams of “compressed cannabis,” according to a report from the non-government organization Malaysian Awareness Society (MASA). The report was published on the Mayaysian blog tindakangerakasuh and the story also reported by High Times.
In addition to the horrific injustice of a death sentence, several other factors call the verdict further into question, including authority’s collection of evidence and the defense’s argument that Lukman had been giving away medicine to patients in need.
According to reports, there was no record either of where the police found the contraband or an accurate chemical analysis of the drug. Though the police officer who seized the drugs from Lukman’s residence said he didn’t remember where he found it, “the high court Judge ruled that he was a credible witness because he is a government servant that has no reason to lie.”
A government chemist also failed to quantify the net weight of the cannabis product. By the same token, the judge ruled “that the chemist’s testimonial from Department of Chemistry evidence must be accepted in total because the chemist was a government servant and had no reason to lie.”
Lukman’s attorney Farham Maaruf argued that his client was not involved with any illegal syndicates or engaged in any crime which was a threat to national security. Instead, Lukman was working with groups which sought to educate the public about medical marijuana. Lukman provided cannabis oil to patients he felt were in need of it, sometimes giving it away to people who could not afford the medicine.
Since Lukman’s sentence, activists have started the #FreeLukman hashtag to raise awareness. Lukman is currently waiting to have his case reheard in a Court of Appeals.
Photo via Flickr user WeedPornDaily