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Doctors push Philippine medical cannabis body

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A doctors’ group advocating for the medical benefits of marijuana has urged Sen. Robinhood Padilla to include creating a national cannabis agency in his proposal to make cannabis accessible.

In a letter to the Senate health subcommittee presided by Padilla, the Philippine Society of Cannabinoid Medicine asked Padilla to include in his Senate bill the creation of the Philippine Medical Cannabis Agency, to be placed under the Department of Health.

The agency will have a “medical cannabis advisory committee” with officials from the Departments of Agriculture and of Science and Technology as permanent members.

They also asked Padilla to make medical marijuana available in all tertiary government hospitals and not just select ones, as stated in the proposed law.

“It has been almost 10 years since the first medical cannabis bill has been filed in Congress. In that time, millions of patients abroad have been made to suffer less,” according to the letter, read by the group’s founding president Dr. Gem Marq Mutia in a Senate hearing on Thursday.

Padilla said it is high time for the country to allow medical marijuana for patients with cancer and epilepsy.

During the hearing, he shared the findings of his working visit last May in Israel, known for its medical breakthroughs on marijuana, which is strictly regulated by the state as treatment for debilitating illnesses.

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