The protest was very small but the implications for those caught in possession of even the smallest quantities of drugs, including cannabis are huge for those living in Malaysia. The death sentence is mandatory, and judges have no authority to reverse a case. The individual involved is seen in the eyes of Malaysian law to be guilty unless he or she can prove otherwise.
According to the UN Secretary General and International conventions on Human Rights, the death penalty should only be applicable in circumstances where, “the crime is intentional and results in lethal or extremely grave consequences, not in cases of economic, non-violent or victimless offences. In those cases a death sentence may be considered as an arbitrary execution.”
ENCOD believes that the legitimised current drug prohibition by the United Nations “continues to drive repressive policies.” Despite the harsh penalty associated with drugs in Malaysia the amount of users have continued to rise. People that do get caught are often not involved in the high ranks of the supply chain and therefore the main players are not deterred. Instead they can continue to charge inflated prices for their products. Currently some 300 prisoners are on death row.
Governments will meet from March 8th until the 12th at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna to reinstate their global war against drugs. However, for people in Malaysia, as well as 21 other countries, perhaps the law should be modified in line with the UN’s view of the death penalty.
A letter was handed to Embassy officials, in parts stating, “The prohibition of cannabis was installed and promoted worldwide by Western countries, especially the USA, during a period in which they dominated the world. Meanwhile, in most European countries, cannabis possession for personal consumption is not penalised anymore. In a growing number of states in the USA, major law changes are taking place that legally regulate the cultivation and distribution of cannabis to adults for medicinal purposes. It would be extremely sad to see Malaysia continue executing people found in possession of cannabis, while the countries that have installed its prohibition have come to the insight that this is a useful substance whose consumption can be perfectly integrated in society.” The letter was also handed in at similar demonstration at Malaysian Embassies and consulates in Brussels, Copenhagen, Kathmandu, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Vienna.