PRRD TURNS BACK FROM MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte passed down the move to legalize marijuana in the country, particularly its use for medicinal purposes.
“You must remember that heroin, cocaine, and the derivatives are products of opium poppy plant. So matagal masyado magtama, if at all.Talagang mabuang (It takes time to be absorbed, if at all. You get crazy). Plant ‘yan eh (That’s a plant). Marijuana. They are cultivated,” Duterte said in his speech at the campaign rally of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.
Duterte said considering marijuana as a medicinal drug equates to condoning wrongdoings.
“I am ignorant of that kind of research, I must admit. And I do not read it and I do not intend to legalize it. Ayaw ko (I do not want to). Gawain mo lang excuse ‘yan eh (Legalization would be used as an excuse). Magtatanim ka ng iyo. Sabihin mo, ‘Medicinal man kaya ‘to(People might cultivate it and say it is for medicinal purposes),” he said.
The President said drug traders can use this measure as an excuse to continue their illegal businesses.
“Sabihin medicinal. Lahat na lang mag-medicinal na. (They say it’s medicinal. Suddenly, everything will become medicinal.) That would be an excuse. Hindi ako pumayag (I did not agree). Not in my time. Not in my time. Some other president, maybe,” he said.
Last year, Duterte lauded the authorship of the bill and its progress in the House of Representatives.
In the conclusion of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Singapore, Duterte said that he used marijuana to keep up with the activities.
However, as always, he retracted what he said and told that he was only joking. “Kung maniwala kayo, g*** kayo,” he cursed.
Marijuana is one of the prohibited substances under the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. A person found guilty of possessing at least 500 grams of marijuana, or at least 10 grams of marijuana concentrate may be punished with life imprisonment and a fine of up to P10 million.
Health officials previously said that, an enabling law is needed before the government could go full blast in studying the health benefits of marijuana.