SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo admitted using medical marijuana or cannabis patches when she is in a country that allows it, which is why she wanted the Cannabis Bill passed into law.
In an interview, Arroyo said she authored the bill because of the belief that it is beneficial to many people who have health conditions including herself.
Arroyo is suffering from cervical spondylosis, a degenerative disease affecting the spine.
“Well, as you know I am an author of that. I really believe in medical cannabis,” Arroyo said.
“As you know I have my problem here (cervical spine) and when I’m in a country that allows it, I put a pain patch but here in the Philippines I cannot do it. So I authored that bill because I believe that it can help me and many other people,” she added.
House Bill 6517, or the Act Providing Filipinos Right of Access to Medical Marijuana principally authored by Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano, is still pending in the House of Representatives due to objections from several lawmakers and different sectors.
Arroyo said she will let the legislative process take its course. Right now the bill is on second reading.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will support any bill on the legalization of medical marijuana.
Duterte has already made his stand on several instances favoring the legalization of medical marijuana, despite his war on drugs.
In fact, Duterte once admitted that he was using marijuana to relieve pain and for relaxation.
Some doctors have opposed medical cannabis, saying its efficacy has yet to be confirmed.
The use of medical marijuana is legal in California and some other parts of the US, Canada, and Poland, among others.
Thousands of patients in those countries who are suffering from serious and debilitating diseases are resorting to medical marijuana.
Under the measure, a Medical Cannabis Compassionate Center will be registered with the Medical Cannabis Regulatory Authority. The Center will be licensed to “acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, sell, supply and dispense cannabis, paraphernalia or related supplies and educational materials to registered qualifying patients.”