MANILA - Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez is calling for the decriminalization of marijuana for economic gains.
Alvarez called to "free the plant" through his House Bill No. 6783, stressing his belief that legalizing marijuana can be economically beneficial for the country.
"If we legalize marijuana, but with safeguards, we help in attaining economic independence and freedom from poverty for our people. FREE THE PLANT! This is the only way we can harness the full potential of the benefits of Cannabis, both medically and economically," he said.
Alvarez urged the government to take alternative and progressive means to address the country's problems, including poverty.
"Tapang ang kailangan natin dito. We need the courage to face the problems head on and the capability to handle the solutions that is called for by modern times. Decriminalization of Cannabis can lead us to freedom from economic poverty. The potential for economic gain is astounding, international studies and models have proven this. The numbers speak for itself, and even our government agencies involved acknowledged it during the technical working group discussions in Congress. We have to face it," he explained.
Alvarez cited the United States and Canada as examples of countries which benefited from the decriminalization of marijuana.
"Let's roll up our sleeves and embrace the green revolution! By legalizing marijuana, we'll not only light up our economy but also blaze a trail towards prosperity! The potential for high revenues is no longer up in smoke but a reality we can't afford to ignore. It's time to weed out outdated thinking and cultivate a thriving economy. Yung tax revenue gamitin natin pang pagawa ng mga ospital, paaralan, kalsada, at mga tulay. Gamitin na rin natin pang bayad ng utang ng ating bansa," he added.
Alvarez, likewise, emphasized the role of ensuring comprehensive safeguards and regulations, should the use of marijuana be legalized.
"While freedom may be absolute, rule of law prevails to ensure the protection of the people, their rights, and their welfare. The same is true should we choose to FREE THE PLANT. May mga batas po tayo, we create them, we draft, revise, and repeal them, we adapt as we see fit. That is incumbent upon us lawmakers. And I am sure that we will be able to ensure that safeguards against abuse and misuse and abuse of the plant," he said.