Duterte: Yes to medicinal marijuana

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2016 11:51 PM

Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte. File Photo

Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte said he will never allow recreational marijuana, but he is open to the use marijuana for medical purposes.

Speaking to reporters Monday night, Duterte said there are now medicines that have marijuana as a component.

"Medicinal marijuana, yes, because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine now. There are medicines right now being developed or already in the market that contains marijuana as a component but used for medical purposes," he said.

Duterte, however, was firm on saying that those who will be caught using marijuana for recreational purposes will be punished, as provided by law.

"Pero 'yung maghithit ka lang diyan, parang sigarilyo, I will not allow it ever because I have seen so many of my classmates even noon...," he said.

"It remains to be a prohibited item and there's always a threat of being arrested, or if you choose to fight the law enforcement agency, you die," Duterte added.

READ: Duterte to take drugs war down to barangay level

Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III in 2014 filed House Bill No. 04477 (Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act), which aims to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

In 2015, the head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said the Church supports the use of prohibited drugs and narcotics, such as marijuana, for the terminally ill.

Doctors, on the other hand, are opposing the bill, adding that experts have yet to confirm the efficacy of medical marijuana.

Possession of at least 10 grams of marijuana resin or marijuana resin oil, or at least 500 grams of marijuana is punishable with life imprisonment and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P10 million, as stipulated in the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.