Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Ted Herbosa said Sunday he was in favor of the use of cannabis for medical purposes, but not in cultivating and manufacturing marijuana in the country.
During a Kapihan forum, Herbosa said that medical cannabis could already be used by patients in the Philippines through a compassionate special permit signed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would allow its importation.
He said medical cannabis would be beneficial for those suffering from cancer, glaucoma, and seizure disorder, among others.
“I’m for the legalization of medical use of marijuana, but I’m not in favor of cultivating marijuana plants for farming, and manufacturing kasi ‘pag ganon, wala pa tayong [if that’s the case, we don’t have] checks and balance,” Herbosa said.
“Hindi ko mako-confirm na dito tayo magma-manufacture kasi mapo-promote ‘yung pag-plant. The reason for that is lahat ng gamot magiging imported. ‘Pag imported pa rin siya, madali mo siyang ma-control kasi ibig sabihin no’n medical marijuana would still be regulated,” he added.
(I cannot confirm that we could manufacture marijuana here because its planting will be promoted. It should be imported. If it’s imported, you could control it because it would still be regulated.)
In July, a Senate health and demography subcommittee ended its deliberations on the proposed Medical Cannabis Compassionate Access Act, with Senator Robin Padilla asking stakeholders and resource persons to support and help the panel in crafting the committee report through a technical working group.
House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also filed a bill that allowed the use of cannabis for medical purposes. — DVM, GMA Integrated News