Well, he’s made his position clear !
The Philippine Business Mirror newspaper reports on what’s obviously going to be a slow and tortuous passage of the legislation
A senior deputy minority leader strongly opposed on Monday the passage of a measure decriminalizing the use of marijuana.
Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay said the Philippine Medical Association has rejected the House Bill (HB) 6517 outright, declaring marijuana “contrary to the policy of the State to safeguard the well-being of its citizenry”.
“If other countries wish to destroy themselves by enabling medical marijuana, then let them create their own problems. We Filipinos certainly do not want to degenerate into a nation of zombies,” Atienza said.
HB 6517 Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which is pending for the second-reading approval, seeks to amend Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which classifies marijuana or cannabis as a dangerous drug.
Currently, marijuana is classified as a prohibited substance, just like methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, cocaine and heroin, under the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Under the law, possession of at least 500 grams of marijuana, or at least 10 grams of marijuana concentrate (resin or resin oil), is punishable by life imprisonment, plus a fine of up to P10 million. Carrying lesser quantities of the drug is punishable by 12 to 20 years in prison, plus a fine of up to P500,000.
“We expect the bill to be put to the floor when Congress resumes session next month, and we intend to fight it off forcefully,” Atienza said.
“Advocates of the bill argue that Filipino families should be allowed to use marijuana to provide artificial, mind-altering ‘highs’ to depressed teenagers, as well as children, with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, when what these vulnerable kids truly need and deserve is extra loving care and emotional support,” Atienza said.
The lawmaker also warned that criminal drug traffickers are bound to exploit “medical marijuana” as a mere cover to boost the recreational use of the drug and enlarge their nefarious trade.
“What makes marijuana even more menacing is that many young Filipinos are known to first experiment on the substance, before they eventually use harder drugs,” Atienza said.
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