Camarines Sur Representative LRay Villafuerte filed a bill to legalize the local production and export of medical marijuana, a move that the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) immediately opposed.
Instead, the DDB urged lawmakers to pass a measure to improve the government’s rehabilitation programs for drug dependents.
Villafuerte called on the health committee to discuss and approve House Bill No. 3961, which aims to expand the utilization of medical marijuana “to make it a lot more accessible and cheaper for Filipinos in need of this revolutionary medicine.”
Last week, the United Nations Commission on Narcotics Drugs (UN-CND) voted to “remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs — where it was listed alongside specific deadly, addictive opioids, including heroin, recognized as having little to no therapeutic purposes.”
Villafuerte, the public accounts committee’s vice-chair, said this development is a game-changer for medicinal and therapeutic recognition of CBD.
“Considering the UN-CND vote last week to remove cannabis from the list of the dangerous category of narcotic drugs—where it used to be listed alongside heroin and other addictive opioids—it’s about time for the House health panel to submit HB 3961 to a committee vote so lawmakers could finally take action on this proposal,” he said.
Bill to legalize production, export of medical marijuana filed
The CamSur lawmaker assured that his bill would not oppose Duterte’s war on drugs campaign.
“CBD is the medicinal strain of the cannabis plant that is neither addictive nor producing the so-called buzz or ‘high’ for recreational users,” he argued.
In February, DDB had already approved the use of CBD for patients with epilepsy.
According to DDB chairman Catalino Cuy, using medical marijuana for compassionate use for people with terminal illnesses is allowed under the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
“Another bill is not really needed, but definitely ‘yung recreational use and cultivation of marijauna are still prohibited,” Cuy said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
Villafuerte said that with the recent move of CND on medical marijuana, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and DDB should now make necessary measures to use CBD in the Philippines.