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 Aceh province and other regions in the north of Sumatra island 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 that 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.
Kalla and the police chief both reiterated their support for the death penalty for drug traffickers, noting that neighboring Malaysia and Singapore also execute offenders.