IN support of the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday admitted using marijuana or cannabis patches to alleviate the pain caused by her neck problem.
Arroyo, one of principal authors of the Medical Cannabis Act, underscored the benefits of marijuana once the law allowing its legal use for medical purposes is enacted into law.
The Speaker is suffering from cervical spondylosis of age-related wear and tear of the spinal discs in the neck.
“As you know I am an author of that [medical marijuana bill]. I really believe in medical cannabis. 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 but there was a lot of objection to the bill from the House and from the Senate. That’s why we are just letting the legislative process take its course,” said Arroyo.
House Bill (HB) 6517 or an Act Providing Filipinos Right Access to Medical Marijuana is awaiting approval on second reading.
Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, the main author of the bill, expressed hope the measure will be approved soon.
“It is time for us to decide based on evidence. Around the globe, controlled clinical trials assessed the safety and efficacy of marijuana and its naturally occurring compounds, proving the therapeutic and palliative effects of cannabis. Twenty-seven countries have legalized medical cannabis and 33 states plus Washington DC have passed laws legalizing medical cannabis in the United States,” Albano said.
He also thanked Arroyo for her open support for the measure.
Albano said the bill’s proponents have nothing in mind but to provide relief to terminally-ill patients.
In 2017, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act allows medical laboratories to cultivate marijuana for “medical experiences and research purposes.”