Palace: Duterte willing to sign any medical marijuana bill

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2018 05:30 PM | Updated as of Dec 18 2018 05:42 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the unveiling of the marker for the Las Piñas Drug Rehabilitation Center (DRC) at Barangay Daniel Fajardo in Las Piñas City on Thursday. Rey Baniquet, Malacañang photo

MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte will support any bill that will seek the legalization of medical marijuana.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo noted Duterte has already made his stand on several instances favoring the legalization of medical marijuana.

"Since the President already made a statement that he’s in favor of limited use of marijuana… logically, then he will support… and sign any bill that would be consistent with his stand,” Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.

There was a renewed public discussion on medical marijuana after Miss Universe Catriona Gray was asked about her opinion on the legalization of the substance during the pageant's question and answer portion, to which she replied that she backs its "medical use but not so for recreational use."

Gray’s position is similar to that of Duterte who, despite launching a war against illegal drugs, has kept an open mind about medical marijuana.

Earlier this month, 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 US, Canada, and Poland, among others.

House Bill 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which seeks to legalize medical marijuana for medicinal purposes, is pending before the House of Representatives.