If that isn’t a CV for starting up a cannabis legalization party in Duterte’s Philippines we don’t know what is!
We wish him the best of luck in what can only be described as a herculean task
The News Lens reports
Jommy Teotico didn’t expect to spend over six years in prison for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, which regulates drug use in the Philippines, for possession of marijuana. He just wanted to relax.
In 2008, he won the first season of the Philippine edition of Fear Factor. After the competition, the show afforded him a routine psychological evaluation wherein he was diagnosed with ADHD. The doctor explained the symptoms to him and now he could put a name to his constant restlessness. He shunned prescription medicines fearing side effects and was intent on finding a better remedy.
After consulting with medical professionals, Teotico said, “I tried marijuana. I became calm. I started sleeping at a normal time which I couldn’t do before. My body felt balanced. I’d found the yin to my yang. Everything was really chill and I let go of the negativity.”
On October 23, 2014, Teotico was at home, relaxing when the police burst through his doors. “The next thing I knew, I was behind bars.”
He finished his sentence in February of this year with one thing on his mind, to “help educate misinformed people.” Now he works as an organizer and occasional spokesperson of the newly formed Medical Cannabis Party, the first political party in the Philippines and Asia dedicated to the decriminalization of cannabis use.
“We are an opposition party because we aim to confront the existing state drug policies. Under Duterte we have seen the bloodiest iteration of a drug war. We believe that the medical benefits of cannabis and even its industrial advantages will be lost to the country as long as our drug policies remain prohibitionist,” explained Henri Enaje, an attorney and the party’s national chairperson.
He added, “The War on Drugs has failed — it failed to bring us a just, humane, and peaceful society. As human rights and drug policy reform advocates, patients needing cannabis medicines, and some of us even victims of the drug war, we strongly call for an end to the so-called war against drugs. In truth, it has only victimized, jailed, or killed the poor and the helpless. It is this same brutal policy that prevents patients from accessing cannabis as medicine.”