Marijuana as medicine? Doctor debates lawmaker

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2015 05:31 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2015 01:31 AM

A medical expert frowns upon a bill filed on Congress that would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Philippine Medical Association President, Dr. Minerva Calimag said Philippines is not yet ready for such a measure. She said doctors also oppose the bill because there is insufficient proof to back claims of marijuana's medicinal benefits.

"There is an existing AO series of 1992 pa yan. Which (already) allows the compassionate use of this drug under specific regulations," said PMA President Calimag.

"Hindi rin natin puwedeng sabihin na marijuana is herbal because AO 172 series of 2004 says if any herb has any potential for abuse, hindi mo siya puwedeng i-consider as herbal."

This came as debates kicked off this week for House Bill 4477, or the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act.

The bill's author, Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano, said the group will be composed of medical experts who will discuss the pros and cons of the measure.

"I believe that medicine is a growing science. So, having new discovery will be good for the people, and good for us. Especially those Moms for Marijuana, if you see them with their kids. They really need this," said Albano.

Supporters of the bill insist cannabis can help in the treatment of serious ailments like post traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.