Coming soon: Medical marijuana bill in PH

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 29 2014 03:55 PM | Updated as of Jan 29 2014 11:55 PM

MANILA - Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano on Wednesday said he will file in March a bill legalizing marijuana in the Philippines for medicinal purposes.

Stressing he doesn't want to promote pot sessions, Albano said he merely wants to open the debates for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use.

"Ipa-file ko pa lang bill sa March. Pinag-aaralan pa legalization ng marijuana. Pagde-debatehan yan yung medicinal use. Hindi paghithit. Lumalabas ngayon naririnig ko na comment parang papayagan na mabebenta na parang sigarilyo. Di po ganun yun. Buksan natin sa debate itong usapin ng marijuana," he said.

Albano jokingly said: "Di ko naman sinasabi na ipipilit ko na magpa-pot session o baka pag nag pot session dito lumiwanag ang debate."

The US state of Colorado recently legalized recreational marijuana.

Albano's allies in the House minority bloc said they support the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use.

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said based on his conversations with some personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, decriminalizing the possession of marijuana will help decongest the country's jails.

House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora added: "We are in agreement that marijuana for medicinal, strictly medicinal purposes, it should be examined and legitimized. For recreational purposes, that's an entirely different issue."