Herbs and Spices
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Marijuana possession should remain a crime in Indonesia, but chefs who use the herb as a traditional way to season curries should not be arrested, the country's vice president told local reporters.
Cooks in parts of Indonesia — a nation that executes drug traffickers — say they use tiny amounts of crushed marijuana leaves or seeds as a spice in certain dishes.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Vice President Yusuf Kalla said there was "no way" Indonesia would legalize or decriminalize marijuana as some countries in western Europe have done.
"It is all right to use it as a food seasoning, but it should not be fully legalized," Kalla was quoted as saying by The Jakarta Post.
Kalla did not address the problems such a stance might pose to police tasked with arresting marijuana users. Officers have never previously cracked down on the use of marijuana in the kitchen or said the practice was a particular problem.
I believe some loosening in current drug laws is long overdue. AP is correct in noting how difficult it would be to differentiate between marijuana use for food and for personal use. It leaves the question of whether one is breaking the law in the hands of police and prosecutors and therefore can either lead to honest mistakes by law enforcement at best and abuses by the same in worst case scenarios. With the draconian drug laws currently in effect in Indonesia, I wouldn't want to be risking my life over something I'm either eating or serving to others.
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