THE City Public Safety Company (CPSC) of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) uprooted 315 stalks of marijuana from a plantation they discovered in Sitio Hagimit in Barangay Adlaon yesterday morning.
Officials of the mountain barangay reported the presence of the marijuana plantation to the CCPO, whose operatives proceeded to the area and found three cultivated plots with marijuana worth around P94,500.
“It was well-hidden with surrounding bushes. It was planted in government-owned land, which means that it was open to the public and anyone can plant there,” CCPO Director Joel Doria said.
The team, headed by Supt. Timmar Alam, chief of the CPSC, uprooted 170 fully grown marijuana stalks and 145 stalks of young plants with a total of 315 stalks.
The plants were brought to the CPSC detachment in Pung-ol, Sibugay and will be turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 for disposal.
Though they were not able to arrest the farmer, Alam still thanked the barangay officials for reporting the marijuana plantation to them.
“We saw that some of the young stalks were freshly uprooted. So that means the farmer may have harvested it beforehand and was afraid that we would catch him,” Alam said.
The CPSC regularly conducts patrols in the area not only to look for the illegal weed but also to monitor any presence of insurgents in the city’s mountain barangays.
“So far, they (rebels) have no presence here,” Alam said.
The CPSC chief said it was the first time that they uprooted marijuana plants with a street value of P94,500.
Meanwhile at the Capitol, Provincial Board Member Celestino “Tining” Martinez III said he is not against the move to legalize medical marijuana and that he is open to discuss it.
A House committee approved the “Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act,” which allows the use of marijuana to treat chronic or debilitating medical conditions such as arthritis, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, among others.
He said he wants the bill discussed since there is a sense of social indifference towards cannabis, which is illegal in the country.
Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO) Chief Ivy Durano-Meca said that legalizing marijuana should be discussed thoroughly.
“Personally, I’m not in favor of legalizing marijuana especially that it’s not fully controlled here in the Philippines,” Meca said.
She said that based on their record of drug surrenderers, many of the drug dependents are marijuana users.
Meca said that in the absence of shabu, most drug users shift to marijuana. (JOB/Angel Mae Bellita, USJ-R Intern)