Legalization of Cannabis in the Philippines 2019 Updates


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Medical marijuana is already legal in the Philippines. However, most probably people trying to access it in any forms (CBD oil, live plant, dried leaves, edibles, etc.) can still be in danger or in prison. This is the reason why most people do not risk choosing med can. It was stated in section 2 of the RA 9165, the Comprehensive Drug Acts of 2002 that “People with legitimate medical needs are not prevented from being treated with adequate amounts of appropriate medications, which include the use of dangerous drugs”. However, even up to now, the situation in the country regarding medical marijuana is still inconsistent and even dangerous to its citizen. Many people still complain that to get a special permit for marijuana medication is very difficult, if not impossible. Currently, the country’s leaders still lack compassion and perhaps even intellectual capacity to understand our individual rights to this medicinal plant. As one of the consequences of its so-called war on drugs, many Filipinos, young children and old ones, still suffer unnecessarily and even die from curable diseases. Also, many young people get incarcerated and got their lives destroyed for such petty matter; possession of marijuana, which shouldn’t really be a crime at all for humanity’s sake. 

Photo: news.abs-cbn.com | Medical cannabis less toxic than ordinary cancer seizure drugs experts

Amidst society’s current knowledge about this plant or medicine, which the information regarding it are staggeringly immense and widespread in the internet, some countries still choose to be ignorant and let their people die and suffer from health problems (and probably other social current problems too!) that can be solved by marijuana and hemp. Although today’s fight is all about our rights and freedom to cure ourselves using whatever deemed effective without the intervention of any people or any entity, not even the government, supposed to be, the general public must also know that there can be many benefits we can have from marijuana or hemp. However, this right to bodily sovereignty has always been a subject of violation mostly by big institutions of our society, most especially by commercial healthcare system and pharmaceutical companies that often creates toxic synthetic drugs and by the politicians and policies that supports their crimes, directly and indirectly.

Photo: Imoney.ph | President Duterte favor legalizing medical marijuana

Why do we need to improve the current medical marijuana bill of the country?

According to Philippine Cannabis Compassion Society (PCCS), an organization of patients, parents, professionals and advocates since 2013 that “pushes for the secure access to available, safe and available medical marijuana”, the current Philippine law regarding medical cannabis is inconsistently dangerous, vague and even confusing that’s why it needs to be reconsidered and reformed. In the bill that they are helping to push right now, which is the House Bill No. 6517, the right to access the medicine will be guaranteed safe and affordable as the law will also “mandate and guide the cultivation, manufacturing, production, importation, dispensing, and use”. Right now there are 60 countries that are legalising medical marijuana that is why it is the hope of many members and supporters of PCCS that the Philippines will be the next to improve its healthcare and reconsider the value of this wonderful plant. Last November 17, the PCCS celebrated its 6th anniversary attended by many patients, parents, and advocates.  

Photo: twitter.com/ABSCBNNews/status/1119410536947552256

More Cannabis Events in the Philippines  

The “Philippine March for Cannabis” 

The Philippine March for Cannabis is an event or a gathering of many different groups and individuals of the local cannabis movement supporting the legalization of marijuana for medical, industrial and recreational use. It aims to raise public awareness about the facts, histories, industries, uses, practicality and the benefits of cannabis. During August of this year, a march was organized effectively in Manila, which ended with a wonderful get together, discussions, and music jamming in Mendiola. Supported by many individuals, musicians and artists, community activists, advocates and professionals, the event was co-facilitated by HIBLA Hemp Movement. However, without those speakers and other representatives of involved organizations, the event could never be that successful. The next march was said to be on December 30, 2019. 

Photo: Pressreader | Philippine Daily Inquirer

Invest Cannabis Asia 2019

This September of 2019, a program dubbed as “the first international cannabis event in the Philippines” was held at Marriott Manila hotel. The goal of the event was to “discuss the opportunities and challenges in the medical cannabis and hemp industries in the Philippines”. This event was attended by the country’s policy experts, successful business entrepreneurs, including local advocates and enthusiasts. On this gathering, guests discussed about the current system and how to establish a legal market and investment opportunities for product distribution, research, processing and production. According to Henry Wang, the chief strategy officer for the Philippines of Greenfield MC Global, an Australian importer and distributor of medical cannabis, and one of the speakers of the event, the cannabis industry of the country will possibly rise. According also to him, the Philippines is very ideal for marijuana industry because of its climate and this would allow the local agriculture to be rejuvenated, creating more cannabis-based businesses and livelihoods that would generate more jobs and income. 

Photo: Coconuts.co | Cannahopefuls front lines fight marijuana Philippines

More organizations calling for legalization of marijuana in the Philippines for industrial, medical, and recreational use:

Philippine Cannabis Legal Resource Center – CannaLegal PH  

“CannaLegal PH is a Manila-based legal and advocacy resource center, which aims to reform Philippine marijuana and hemp laws, and lobby for a people-centered and rights-based drug policy”.

Sensible Philippines

“We are a network of pro hemp / marijuana advocacy groups and individuals. We believe it’s time to come together with a united cause for the movement to push for a more sensible approach”.

HIBLA Hemp Movement

“We are a subcultural organization that DEMANDS reclassification of Cannabis hemp from ‘SCHEDULE 1’ to a viable agri-commodity that could one day propel the Philippine economy and restore the country to its former glory. We are all in this together.”

References and website links:

Philippine Cannabis Compassion Society (PCCS)

  • https://www.facebook.com/PCCSpage/
  • https://www.trending.ph/2019/02/medical-marijuana-use-now-allowed-in-the-philippines-but-needs-to-get-a-special-permit-from-fda/

House Bill No. 6517

  • http://congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/first_17/CR00402.pdf

Invest Cannabis Asia

  • https://lifestyle.inquirer.net/347671/medical-marijuana-a-health-movement-whose-time-has-finally-come/

Phil March for Cannabis

  • https://www.facebook.com/PhilippineMarchForKanabis/

HIBLA Hemp Movement

  • https://www.facebook.com/pg/HIBLAHempMovement/about/?ref=page_internal

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Alter Picar

Alter Picar is a writer, translator, self-published author, songwriter / musician, community worker, non-profit organization manager (volunteer), mental health advocate / educator, librarian, and organic gardener.

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