HOUSE APPROVES MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL IN SECOND READING
Manila, Philippines — The House of Representatives had approved on its second reading the House Bill No. 6517 or the proposed Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act.
Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, author of House Bill 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, had been optimistic prior to the passage of the bill—he had hoped that lawmakers would realize the medicinal and beneficial use of cannabis for patients who are in pain, and suffering, that truly needs the cannabis to defy and cure whatever medical situation they are into.
“We advocate the legal use of medical marijuana not to put to risk the lives and well-being of the Filipino people; but to help patients who are terminally ill or afflicted with debilitating medical conditions and suffer from unimaginable pain,” Albano, who also seats as majority leader for the House contingent’s Commission on Appointments, said.
The House Bill 6517 provides that cannabis, more commonly known as marijuana, “has been confirmed to have beneficial and therapeutic uses to treat chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition,” that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy, severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis.
The bill seeks to establish a Medical Cannabis Regulatory Authority under the Department of Health to regulate the medical use of cannabis in the country.
Under the regulation, a Medical Cannabis Compassionate Center, which will be registered with the Medical Cannabis Regulatory Authority, will be licensed to “acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, sell, supply and dispense cannabis, paraphernalia or related supplies and educational materials to registered qualifying patients.”
Only qualifying patients will be allowed access to the use of medical marijuana only through the Center.
Another entity, to be known as the Medical Cannabis Safety Compliance Facility, shall be established to “conduct scientific and medical research on medical use of cannabis” and provide testing services for its potency, among others.
Before elected as president, President Rodrigo Duterte shared he was into the use of medical marijuana, as it is "an ingredient of modern medicine now."
Last December, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo noted that Duterte will sign any bill that will legalize the use of the medical cannabis in the country.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police had confiscated a total of 12 kilograms of prohibited substance by anti-drug operatives in Quezon City, last Friday.
The police arrested five suspects, who will be charged with cases for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
In a press briefing on Saturday, National Capital Region Police Office Director Guillermo Eleazar said the dried marijuana stalks were rolled in plastic wrappers and newspapers when they were confiscated.