Once the bill is passed, two types of entities would be created:
The United Nations listed cannabis as a Schedule I drug in 1961, and the Philippines backed up this decision by signing the UN’s Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty. Since then, marijuana use has been illegal in the country. However, even with the passing of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the medical and scientific implementation of cannabis hasn’t been outlawed, but it also hasn’t been regulated.
Because marijuana isn’t legalized yet in the Philippines, the penalty for possession has some serious consequences depending on the amount you are carrying:
The legalization of HB 180 has a long way to go. It will likely be revised countless times and go through a series of debates and amendments. Then, it will go to a vote in the House of Representatives, and a counterpart will be voted on by the Senate. Only once it’s approved by both houses will it go before the president to either sign or veto. The bill has some vocal detractors, so it may take a while to pass.
Although Bill 180, or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, still has a long way to go, this is incredible news for patients in the Philippines who would find relief from pain and discomfort with medical weed.
If approved, they’ll receive an identification card issued by the secretary of the Department of Health.
Since the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act hasn’t passed yet, patients can’t get medical marijuana cards yet. However, lawmakers are hoping to pass this bill into law soon. When that happens, patients can apply to the Department of Health. They must:
The proposed bill would not allow patients to smoke or vaporize cannabis flower. However, they would have access to other forms, such as cannabis oil extracts, tinctures, suppositories, capsules and pills, sprays and topicals.
The debilitating conditions included in the bill are:
Are you a patient in the Philippines interested in medical marijuana? Use this information to figure out how to get started finding a treatment plan for your chronic illness.
Inside an overcrowded Filipino prison cell.
A few months ago, it produced a paradox – it emerged that the instigator of all of this death and destruction was himself – allegedly – a drug abuser. Duterte, it was claimed, was hooked on Fentanyl. Now, just as the violence is being ramped up once again, another paradox has emerged. Earlier this month, just one day after the Filipino parliament approved a third and final reading of a Bill which will reinstate the death penalty for drug-related offences, the House Committee on Health endorsed another Bill which, if passed into law, will legalise and regulate the use of medical cannabis.
It remains to be seen, however, whether that will be enough to convince people to enrol in the new system, should the Bill become law. Despite Duterte’s apparent acceptance of the medical benefits of cannabis use, he is still a highly unstable leader who has, since day one of his presidency, waged all out war on drugs and drug users. In this case, cannabis users may be justified in their paranoia, especially when they see what else Duterte has said about cannabis, such as this quote, taken from the same interview in which he appeared to back medical use of the drug.
He may have a point. Duterte is on record as saying, whilst he was Mayor of Davao, “Medicinal marijuana, yes, because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine now. There are drugs right now being developed or already in the market that (have) marijuana as a component.”
The Bill’s sponsor, Rep. Seth Jalosjos, has said that legalising medical cannabis will “benefit thousands of patients suffering from serious and debilitating diseases” whilst its author, Rodito Albano, is adamant that the Bill can pass even with Duterte in charge. “I have high hopes under the Duterte administration that this measure would be enacted into law,” he told the PhilStar :
Clearly then, this proposed new law is a very long way from perfect. In fact, whilst Duterte’s drug war continues to rage, it is essentially useless to those who genuinely need it.
Given that the President’s war on drugs has so far been carried out in large part by vigilantes, reacting to his clearly expressed desire to kill all drug users, it is hardly surprising, given comments like the one above, that medical cannabis users are cautious. Masked men on motorbikes roaming the streets looking for drug users to murder with impunity don’t tend to stop to check whether their victim is carrying an identification card.
What it does highlight, however, is the level at which the medical use of cannabis is now accepted throughout the world. Even in a country that wants to murder all drug dealers and put regular pot smokers in prison for life, cannabis’ medical efficacy is acknowledged by the highest power in the land.
[..] prescribes the rules for the proper use of medical marijuana, including the designation of a qualified medical cannabis physician, a medical cannabis patient who shall be issued an identification card, a qualified medical cannabis caregiver and a qualified medical cannabis compassionate centre.
Medical Cannabis in The Philippines Over the past year, much has been written about the horrific consequences of the Philippines’ war on drugs, led by its frankly psychopathic president, Rodrigo