StickyPointMagazine.com : Australian Cannabis Lifestyle & News

Recently in Malaysia, a Saudi Arabian student was sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison and 13 strokes of the rotan (caning) across 2 charges of cannabis possession. Muhamed Tariq Abualjadeil, 21, was found to have cannabis in his possession at the entry to the Cyber Heights Villa in Sepang, Malaysia on the November 18th, 2006.

Tariq was initially charged with drug trafficking, which carries a mandatory death sentence, despite Tariq denying ownership of the cannabis and claiming that the cannabis was for medical purposes.

Tariq’s lawyer pleaded that Tariq was caught up with the wrong people, and was otherwise a good student, studying business computing at a private college at the time of his arrest. A week ago, the prosecution offered Tariq the reduced charge of drug possession, which he initially accepted. However, Tariq then changed his mind, claiming “I don’t want to plead guilty to these two charges. I was not involved in this”.

Tariq’s lawyer then threatened to quit the case unless he cooperated and accepted the reduced charge. Tariq accepted these charges and pleaded guilty a couple of days ago; the first charge for possession of 2.57kg of cannabis (12 years prison and 3 strokes of the rotan) and the second charge for possession of 43.5g of cannabis (3 years prison and 10 strokes of the rotan). Both sentences will run concurrently, backdated to his original arrest in November 2006.

What doesn’t seem to be clear in this case is why there were 2 separate charges for possession of the same substance. Is it possible that Tariq possibly had the small 43.5g (1.5 ounces) of cannabis in his pocket for his own personal supply? Could the 2.57kg (5.6 pounds / 90 ounces) have been a legitimate medicinal supply?

Regardless of what the motives behind the possession were, does a young man in the prime of his life deserve to sit behind bars for the next 10 years of his life and be caned 13 times for a first-time cannabis charge(s)?

What are your thoughts on this sentencing? Does this sentence only seem outrageous because we have rather relaxed cannabis laws compared to Malaysia and other south-east Asian nations?

Sources:
12 years for Saudi student having cannabis” – New Straits Times – 09/12/08
Lawyer threatens to quit over Saudi’s plea” – New Straits Times – 04/12/08

12 December 2008 at 04:21pm |



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