June 23, 2020, 04.18 PM
A marijuana plant ThinkstockA marijuana plant

KUPANG, KOMPAS.com – Medical cannabis user Reynhardt Rossy N. Siahaan has been sentenced to 10 months in jail Monday, June 22 by a state court in Kupang, the capital of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara.

To this day, medical use of marijuana is not permitted in Indonesia unlike in western countries Australia, Germany or the Netherlands, as well as some US states.

Getting off relatively easy

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Judges Fransiskus Mamo, Reza Tyrama and Tjokorda Putra Budi Pastima handed their verdict on the 37-year-old despite the defendant’s plea that he has been using the substance to treat spinal cord compression since 2015.

Reynhardt’s lawyers accepted the ruling. “[The 10-month sentence] is lighter than the prosecutor’s recommendation of one year in jail,” said defense lawyer Bandri Jerry Jacob. “My client has already served seven months of his sentence in Kupang.”

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“We are still considering [the judges'] verdict,” said public prosecutor Devis Lele.

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The East Nusa Tenggara Regional Police arrested Reynhardt at a boarding house in West Manggarai regency in November 2019 after they suspected him of drug use.

They confiscated over 428 grams of marijuana sent via delivery service, and another 2.5 grams on Reynhardt’s person. A drug test run at the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency [BPOM] lab in Kupang found that he tested positive for marijuana use.

The National Narcotics Agency or BNN classified marijuana as a Type I narcotic, ruling out its use for medical purposes. The agency further justified its stance with a 2009 law on narcotics. 

The agency defied calls by civil society groups and activists to decriminalize medical use of marijuana.

However, the agency still permits the use of the substance for experimental purposes by government laboratories. 

(Writer: Sigiranus Marutho Bere/ Editor : Robertus Belarminus)


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