By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano has urged the members of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) to keep an open mind with regards to his bill that seeks to legalize the medicinal use of “cannabis” or marijuana in the country.
The PMA has issued a statement opposing the legalization of medicinal marijuana as provided under House Bill 6517.
In an interview, Albano said the fears expressed by the Philippine Medical Association have already been addressed by the bill. “They are not listening because they have a very narrow perspective and very ignorant on marijuana and the bill itself, ” he added.
The medical community said Albano’s bill could lead to the diversion of cannabis for recreational use but the congressman pointed out that, under his bill, the smoking and planting of marijuana are prohibited acts.
Albano also took to task the statement made by the PMA that HB 6517 “will expose our citizens to a natural, uncontrolled, human experiment with cannabis and its derivatives.”
“Uncontrolled human experiment? What language is that? All those trials done in the name of medicine were uncontrolled,” he said.
“Discoveries arise from the unknown not from what is already known. That’s why there’s nothing significant that happens here on in the name of science because doctors like them are so mediocre in their thinking,” Albano pointed out.
He maintained that his measure contains very stringent control provisions on the use of medical marijuana to prevent any abuse.
Albano is confident that majority of his colleagues, led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, would support his measure and approve it on third and final reading as a “Christmas gift” for cancer patients and children suffering from debilitating diseases.
“Thousands of patients in the country are suffering from serious and debilitating diseases and they need this. We don’t have to put them in jeopardy, ” he said.