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Groups want to legalize medical marijuana

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Groups advocating the medical use of marijuana yesterday asked the government to relax the rules on this, saying that it could be the last hope for some patients.

According to Kathleen Kim, founder of the Philippine Moms for Medical Marijuana, marijuana, also known as cannabis, has medicinal value that could be beneficial to patients.

During the Philippine Medical Association forum at the Kapihan sa Manila Hotel, Kim said that they are handling the cases of eight Filipino children with autism and epilepsy who could hardly be calmed by Western and traditional medicine and” medical marijuana” seems to be their last resort.

She noted they learned about the therapeutic effects of marijuana from television documentaries and the Internet.

“It works in other countries. So we hope that our children could also be given a chance to at least try if it will work the same way it works abroad,” Kim, who proudly admitted being a “recreational” and “spiritual user” of marijuana, said.

For his part, Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag warned the public that those now using medical marijuana face criminal charges under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

“We know that it is illegal and so therefore if you are bringing marijuana in whatever form, you manufacture, you sell, you use, you protect them, you run the risk of life imprisonment, it’s in the law,” he added.

Tayag, however, said that since RA 9165 has provisions for “medical or scientific research,” the groups could lobby with the Dangerous Drugs Board for their advocacy to be considered.

“There is a procedure by which you can be heard. But do not transgress the law because the law is harsh.  There will be legal implications and we don’t want to complicate matters,” he added.

 

DRUGS ACT

DRUGS BOARD

DURING THE PHILIPPINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

HEALTH ASSISTANT SECRETARY ERIC TAYAG

KATHLEEN KIM

MANILA HOTEL

MARIJUANA

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

PHILIPPINE MOMS

REPUBLIC ACT

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