A teenager with no legal representation was handed a life-sentence in prison and eight lashes with a cane for possessing 37 grams of packaged marijuana and one marijuana plant.
Mohd Naziff Ahmad, 18, was arrested at his home on November 10, 1999 and was charged with possession of a marijuana plant under Malaysia's harsh Dangerous Drug Act.
Last Thursday, the Sessions Court sentenced Mohd Naziff to the maximum penalty of life imprisonment and six lashes with a cane. Four days later, a lower magistrate's court tacked on two more lashes and another two years to the higher court's sentence.
Tom Dean, Esq., NORML Foundation Litigation Director, has contacted Amnesty International to determine how NORML might assist in bringing national attention to this tragedy.
"While NORML's mission is to reform marijuana laws here in America, it is impossible to ignore this extreme violation of human rights and human dignity," Dean said. "For a young man to be tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the harmless possession of marijuana in the privacy of his own home, without even being allowed to consult with an attorney, is an insult to our collective conscience."
For more information, please contact Tom Dean, Esq., NORML Foundation Litigation Director at (202) 483-8751.