Here’s the introduction

A death sentence given to a young man selling cannabis oil to the ill has stirred debate in Muslim-majority Malaysia about its ultra-tough drug laws. The case has prompted calls for the country to become the first in Asia to legalise medical marijuana – but long-held stigma and a mostly conservative population means change could come slowly.

Yuki describes smoking her first joint as a turning point in her life.

She is willing to risk being thrown in jail rather than give up a drug that she says has worked for her unlike any other.

She first turned to what Malaysians call ganja at 29, after a frustrated Google search in pursuit of something that might help ease chronic, crippling pain from hypokalaemia – or low blood potassium. Beleaguered by a litany of health problems, including diabetes, she decided to try the drug.

It was the early 2000s and public discussion of medical cannabis use was non-existent in Malaysia, a country with some of the world’s harshest drug laws. Cultivating a single cannabis plant at home can land you in prison for natural life, while possession of more than 200g is almost certain to result in a death sentence.

But Yuki, now 41, was desperate to try it. She bought some marijuana and asked her husband to roll her a joint.

“All the pain was gone so finally I could sleep, I slept like a baby,” she said. When she woke up the next morning, she felt her appetite coming back and devoured a meal of curry and rice. She then smoked another joint, and for the first time in a long time, felt up to doing house chores.

Read the full report at