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Not the best time for marijuana bill



A move to allow the regulated use of marijuana as medicine became the center of discussion in the House of Representatives last week when House bill 6517 came up on the House floor after the bill’s approval by the House Committee on Health.

It ran into fierce opposition led by Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, senior deputy minority leader, who said there is today no research finding supporting the claim that marijuana is medicine. The proponents of the bill had claimed that marijuana or cannabis resin, extracts, and tinctures are useful in treating or alleviating debilitating ailments such as epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, and damage to spinal cord tissue. But it appears these are mere testimonials, Congressman Atienza said. There are yet no solid and thorough research and medical studies and findings.

In the United States, medical marijuana is legal in 26 states, but not in the federal US government itself. The US Drug Enforcement Administration says it has a high potential for abuse and no legitimate therapeutic value. It has side effects which, it said, can interfere with attention judgment and balance.

In a position paper, the University of the Philippines-Manila opposed the legalization of medical cannabis or marijuana, saying it poses a “serious threat to public health.” The Comprehensive Drugs Act, RA 9165, now in effect in the country, says resins, extracts, and tinctures of cannabis are considered dangerous drugs in the Philippines.

The Philippines today is engaged in an all-out anti-drugs campaign to carry out the provisions of RA 9165. Addiction to shabu or methamphetamine has been the principal target of the campaign so far, but the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has also reported arrests and seizures involving other drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana.

We are in the midst of an all-out drug campaign and this might not be the best time to ease up on one of the prohibited drugs which is extracted from marijuana plants secretly cultivated in many parts of the country. It might be best to wait for further research on the medicinal values of marijuana in the US and other countries before we take the big step of allowing its use in our country.

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  • Happy Folger

    ” It might be best to wait for further research on the medicinal values of marijuana”

    Translation: I don’t like the research results so I will pretend they do not exist.”

    There have been hundreds of studies into the medical efficacy of marijuana; including dozens of peer-reviewed clinical trials, since the 1960s.
    A five-minute web search would have revealed the proven efficacy of marijuana for palliative care, glaucoma, epilepsy, colitis, and others.
    There are marijuana-based medications on the market now including sativex and marinol.
    The article cites the outdated 1970 US law that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug, but doesn’t mention that survey after survey reveals most Americans disagree with that classification, or that a number of US states, including the most populous, California, have even decriminalized marijuana for recreational use.
    You can keep killing people who use marijuana but you are not going to stop the organized crime behind marijuana until it is legalized, regulated, and taxed.
    Do you want to be more like California or continue to be backwards?

  • donkeyslobber

    what’s the point of trying to discussing matters sensibly in a nation that allows the people in the cartoon to be executed by their government?