CNN Philippines keeps you up to date with what is, might be, or is already happening according to some, in that country, on the subject of medical cannabis. It’s never easy but that has always been the case with Philipines politics.
The report says….
President Rodrigo Duterte will sign any bill that will legalize the use of medical marijuana in the Philippines, his spokesperson said Tuesday.
In a media briefing, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo reiterated that Duterte favors the use of medical marijuana and will support any legislative measure consistent with his stand.
“He (The President) is in favor of limited use of marijuana,” Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.
“Logically then he will support and sign any bill that would be consistent with his stand.”
Last September 2017, a House panel approved House Bill No. 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which seeks to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
The bill is on second reading, pending before the House of Representatives.
Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano III, the measure’s principal author, said he was pleased with the renewed interest on the topic of legalization.
In a statement, Albano noted he is hopeful that the bill will be passed before the end of the 17th Congress.
“(House Bill 6517) adopts a very strict regulatory framework while at the same time promoting the people’s right to health by ensuring affordable and safe access to quality medical cannabis,” Albano wrote in his statement.
“(It) does not decriminalize the use of cannabis or marijuana. This is not about the recreational use of marijuana. What it does is to create a limited and narrow exception to the country’s criminal and civil laws to allow a physician to recommend medical cannabis to patients with serious and debilitating medical conditions,” he added.
However, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III clarified that under the Republic Act No. 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the use of medical marijuana is already legal if used for appropriate medication.
A provision under the act states that patients can apply for a “compassionate special permit” from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The permit allows unregistered drugs in the country to be used for medication.
Because of this, Sotto maintains there is no need to pass a bill legalizing medical marijuana.
“Meron na ba kayong nabalitaan ang PNP (Philippine National Police) (na) hinuli ang medical marijuana? Wala. Hindi bawal eh. Ano ilelegalize mo? E legal,” the Senate President said.
“Ang pinag-uusapan dito at ang bibigyan ng permit ng doctor at ng FDA (ay) yung medical cannabis, hindi yung medical marijuana na hinihithit. Because ibig sabihin noon recreational use na.“
[Translation: Did you hear reports that the police are catching those with medical marijuana? It’s not prohibited. What will we legalize? It’s already legal. What we’re talking about here– and what is given permit by the doctors and the FDA– is the medical cannabis and not the puffed medical marijuana. Because that means, it’s already for recreational use.]