Philippines’ House panel approves Medical Marijuana Bill

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on September 26, 2017.

Philippines’ House of Representatives cleared a bill which legalizes the use of medical marijuana for patients with a set number of conditions. The Bill No 180, also called the Philippines’ Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, was approved after the lawmakers agreed that medical pot treatment was effective for patients suffering from cancer, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and other chronic diseases.

The Bill will now be out for vote to make it a law. As per the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act, marijuana has been classified as a ‘dangerous drug’ in Philippines.

The Bill which was presented by Isabela Representative Rodito Albano in the House for the second time, was scrutinized by a technical team that analysed the provisions of the Bill. The Bill was supported by both House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and President Rodrigo Duterte.

If approved through voting, the Law will enforce the establishment of Medical Cannabis Compassionate Centers (MCCC). The Centers will replace the already established hospitals accredited by the state and speciality hospitals, including a few private tertiary hospitals.

The Centers which will be licensed by the Department of Health, will be allowed to sell, supply and distribute medical pot to prescribed patients. The patients will be identified and issued a medical cannabis card. The pharmacies selling medical pot, will be accredited by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Besides, selling and supplying medical marijuana to patients, the Bill also proposes to form a research organization called the Medical Cannabis Research and Safety Compliance Facilities, which will research on the effectiveness of medical marijuana.

Though President Rodrigo Duterte has often expressed his displeasure on drugs and drug dealers, he extended his support to legalizing medical pot, citing its effectiveness to cure patients.

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