Indonesia’s top court has rejected a bid to permit the use of cannabis for medical reasons, concluding there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate its worth.

But judges did offer a glimmer of hope for campaigners after they urged the government to “immediately” conduct research into its potential therapeutic benefits.

The ruling by the Constitutional Court followed action brought by three mothers of children with cerebral palsy.

A judicial review of Indonesia’s narcotics laws, which could have led to the legalisation of cannabis for medical use, found there was not enough research to justify a law change.

It added, however, that the government should “immediately follow up” with studies, “which can be used to determine policies, including in this case the possibility of changing the law”.

Campaigners demanding a relaxation of Indonesia’s strict drug laws argued that the continued ban of narcotics for medical reasons was a constitutional violation of citizens’ rights to seek remedies for health issues.

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...