Malaysia discussion on decriminalisation of drug use

On 16 April 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Malaysian AIDS Council conducted a meeting on Decriminalisation of Certain Aspects of Drug Offences.

The aim of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of a decriminalisation law in Malaysia to address significant problems faced by persons who use drugs. These problems include difficulties to reintegrate into society, including obstacles to obtaining normal gainful employment post-incarceration, harms to health, fear of criminal sanction, neglected familial welfare as a result of incarceration, an increase of psychiatric co-morbidity, repeated arrests by police despite attending treatment services, among others.

The meeting was attended by eighteen participants from different organizations including the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK), Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF), Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre (PENGASIH), Scope Group Consultancy, Politician, and Center of Drug Research (USM Pulau Pinang).

The participants supported the idea of decriminalizing aspects of drug offences and would possibly form a working committee on Drug Decriminalisation.  Malaysian AIDS Council will arrange a working group meeting in September 2012 in collaboration with stakeholders, ministries, law enforcement, paralegal, NGO’s, and relevant organizations to come up with an option paper which will be presented to the relevant parties to push initial changes in the said law.