DDB insists marijuana still âdangerous drugâ
DDB Undersecretary Benjamin Reyes told The Chiefs on Cignal TV’s OneNews/TV5 on Friday night that the reclassification does not mean that marijuana is no longer included in the list of dangerous drugs.
STAR/ File

DDB insists marijuana still ‘dangerous drug’

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - December 13, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Even as the United Nations recently reclassified marijuana and removed it from the list of dangerous drugs, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) still considers it a dangerous drug.

DDB Undersecretary Benjamin Reyes told The Chiefs on Cignal TV’s OneNews/TV5 on Friday night that the reclassification does not mean that marijuana is no longer included in the list of dangerous drugs.

“It is still included. It’s just that marijuana (may now) have possible medical use, but still dangerous just like cocaine and opium,”  he noted.

Reyes said the UN Commission on Narcotics (CND)’s reclassification of marijuana as a less dangerous drug is just recommendatory and that advocates for its cultivation in the country should first wait for the decision of Congress.

He maintained the production of marijuana remains illegal in the country as it is still included in the government’s list of prohibited narcotics.

Although the Philippines is a signatory to the UN convention, Reyes said the decision of the CND is just recommendatory and not binding.

“Local laws will take precedence over international conventions,” he said, adding that “international convention and recommendation must be studied to know what is applicable in our own setting.”

According to Reyes, the UN reclassification does not have an immediate effect in the Philippines and that it is now up to legislators to decide on this matter.

“Marijuana production and cultivation is still prohibited here. We need to understand, for example, that opium is used as anesthetic but it is (still) based on opium. We are not allowed to plant opium,” he said.

He warned people not to bring marijuana, also known as cannabis, from abroad even in medical or oil forms as this will require registration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Reyes said the problem with those pushing for medical cannabis is that they want to use marijuana for diseases with existing medication.

“We feel these medicines registered with FDA are more effective than the unregistered and untested products,”  he maintained.

Even when it comes to pricing, medical cannabis is not necessarily cheaper than regular medicines as proven in some parts of the United States where it is allowed.— Emmanuel Tupas

  

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