12 Out Of 71 M'sians Tested Positive For Cannabis After Returning From Thailand

Police conducted random tests on individuals who returned to Malaysia via the border entry points at Wang Kelian and Padang Besar.

Cover image via New Straits Times

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12 out of 71 Malaysians returning from Thailand were found to be positive for cannabis as a result of a random screening done by the police in July

According to Utusan Malaysia, the police conducted the test at the border entry points of Wang Kelian and Padang Besar in Perlis on 23 July, following the decriminalisation of cannabis in Thailand on 9 June.

Perlis police chief Datuk Surina Saad stated that during the border screening operation, the police performed inspections on 96 individuals, 71 of whom were subjected to urine testing, and 12 of them tested positive for marijuana.

The authorities urged Malaysians to avoid drug use at all costs when travelling to countries that have legalised cannabis

Surina added that anyone who intentionally tries to take drugs or any cannabis-related substance that induces hallucinations will be prosecuted under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

"Individuals who bring in cannabis-based items in big amounts will also be charged under the same act for drug possession or drug trafficking," Surina said.

She went on to say that it would be difficult to do a screening test for each visitor of countries that legalised drugs as there would be legal implications.

She added that the authorities must have reasonable doubts before arresting and requesting a urine screening test from a suspect

"Taking urine randomly on the basis of suspicion that a person has just visited a country that has legalised drugs is unreasonable and it is highly likely that civil action will be taken against the authorities for abuse of power," Surina said.

She warned that all newly returned tourists need to remember that drugs taken overseas can remain in the body for a period of time and if caught after a few days upon their return, they can still be considered to have used drugs.

In August, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin paid a visit to Thailand to study the possibility of legalising cannabis for medical use in Malaysia:

Meanwhile, in February, a former Malaysian diplomat was apprehended by police after being suspected of owning a cannabis farm: