A major controversy involving Malaysia's ridiculously strict anti-marijuana laws may clear a path for the country to actually legalize cannabis.

Last month a 29-year-old man in Malaysia was given the death penalty for possessing, processing and distributing medicinal cannabis oil. The incident led to a huge public outrage, both at the domestic and international levels, as many called on the government to reverse the death sentence.

It appears the country will likely overturn the death sentence in the near future, as even Malaysia's prime minister has called it a major injustice. But now it appears the government will also consider amending the country's laws to allow medical marijuana.

"It will take a bit of encouragement and convincing as far as this topic is concerned," Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said. "My own personal view is that if it's got medicinal value, then it can be a controlled item that can be used by Ministry of Health for prescription purposes."

Many Southeast Asian countries have very strict laws when it comes to drugs, but have begun questioning whether that's right. The Indonesian government has come under fire for numerous executions of drug traffickers, and the country of Thailand has also begun exploring legalizing medical marijuana.

It seems that convincing the Malaysian government to legalize medical marijuana will still be difficult, but the success of efforts in other countries may spur action in the country. 

(h/t Straits Times)