Lawmaker to refile medical marijuana bill

Jess Diaz - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Inspired by incoming president Rodrigo Duterte’s stance on marijuana, reelected Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III said yesterday he would again file his bill allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes when the 17th Congress opens on June 30.

“I have high hopes under the Duterte administration that this measure would be enacted into law. Finally, there is hope for our people, especially our children, who suffer from medical conditions like epilepsy, cancer and multiple sclerosis,” Albano said.

The lawmaker added he would ask the incoming president to endorse the measure, especially after Duterte was quoted as being in favor of legalizing the use of marijuana and its byproducts for medicinal use while maintaining his opposition to its use for recreational purposes.

“Medical marijuana, yes, because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine now. There are medicines right now being developed or already in the market that (have) marijuana as a component… (being) used for medical purposes,” Duterte said. 

“If you just smoke it like a cigarette, I will not allow it, ever. It remains a prohibited item and there’s always a threat of being arrested. If you choose to fight the law enforcement agency, you die,” he added.

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is among the prohibited substances under the Dangerous Drugs Act.

Albano’s Bill 4477, which seeks to allow the use of medicinal marijuana, is still pending with the committee on health of the House of Representatives, which has run out of time to tackle it.





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