Duterte thumbs down medical marijuana

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2019 09:41 PM | Updated as of Mar 09 2019 02:01 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he would not approve the legalization of medical marijuana, after initially expressing openness to sign a proposed measure allowing its use.

“Sabihin ‘medicinal’. Lahat na lang mag-medicinal na. Hindi ako pumayag, not in my time, maybe some other time, some other president maybe,” Duterte said during the campaign sortie of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.

“I’m ignorant of that kind of research. I don’t read it, and I don’t intend to legalize it. Gawin mo lang excuse yan eh. Magtatanim ka ng iyo.”

House Bill No. 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which seeks to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, is pending before the House of Representatives.

The measure prescribes rules for the proper use of medical marijuana, including the designation of a qualified medical cannabis physician, a qualified medical cannabis patient who shall be issued an identification card, a qualified medical cannabis caregiver, and a qualified medical cannabis compassionate center.

Last December, Duterte stirred controversy by saying that he sometimes takes the substance to stay awake. 

Some doctors have opposed medical cannabis, saying its efficacy has yet to be confirmed. The use of medical marijuana is legal in California and some other parts of the United States, Canada, and Poland, among others.

Just last December, Thailand also approved the use of medical marijuana.