MANILA - Making medical marijuana accessible can help alleviate the suffering of dying people in pain, a lawmaker behind the measure said Wednesday.
"Para naman 'yung huling buhay nila, habang nandito sila, hindi puro hirap, pasakit mararamdaman nila," Kabayan party-list Rep. Ron Salo told "Bandila sa DZMM."
Lawmakers approved Tuesday House Bill 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which seeks to provide "compassionate and right of access to medical cannabis and expanding research into its medicinal properties."
Under the proposed measure, cannabis will only be available and prescribed in its medicinal form, such as tablets or oil.
Salo, co-author of the bill, said medical marijuana are used by patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and cancer.
"Let's open it para sa lahat ng nangangailangan para may access po sila sa gamot na ito," he said.
Only doctors with S3 licenses are authorized to prescribe the medicine.
"Puwede lang mag-prescibe ang may tinatawag na bona fide relationship, may malinaw na patient-doctor relationship sila. Nasuri ng doktor na itong taong ito nangangailangan ng gamot na ito," Salo said.
Research of marijuana in the country can also be done under strict regulations.
Recreational use, he said, remains prohibited under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The Senate has yet to pass its own version of the bill before it can be ratified into law.