House to Deliberate in December Bills on Medical Marijuana
MANILA, Philippines — While it’s not a priority measure of the Duterte administration, the House of Representatives is set to start next month the deliberations of bills seeking to legalize medical marijuana, a House leader said Wednesday.
House Deputy Speaker for Finance Luis Ray “LRay” Villafuerte Jr. said the chamber’s committee on health will start tackling the bills concerning medical cannabis.
At present, there are three bills filed in the House that seek to allow “right” and compassionate” access to medical cannabis and exclude it from the list of dangerous drugs, and one measure that seeks to establish the Philippine Cannabis Development Authority.
“Sa lower House mai-schedule na sa [In the lowe House it will be scheduled in the] House committee on health. It’s not a priority measure of the government but we will start hearing by December,” Villafuerte said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
He expressed confidence that medical marijuana can be legalized in the country, considering that in the 17th Congress, the House passed a measure legalizing and regulating its use.
“All we need to do is convince the President and the senators that medical cannabis can help with opioid addiction and there’s medical proof to that,” he said.
Last March, President Rodrigo Duterte opposed the legalization of medical cannabis, saying that drug users will just use it as an “excuse” to cultivate the plant.
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