THE principal author of the bill legalizing the use of medical marijuna lauded senators on Tuesday, December 18, after the latter expressed their support for the controversial measure.
"I am pleased about the renewed interest in the medical cannabis bill or HB 6517 which will provide patients suffering from serious and debilitating diseases with alternative medicine," said Isabela 1st District Rep. Rodito Albano, principal author of the "Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act," or House Bill No. 6517.
"While there is no counterpart bill in the Senate, I am heartened by the support of Senator JV Ejercito, chair of the Senate Health committee for medical marijuana along with other senators," he added.
Albano said it is now time for the country to decide on the marjiuana bill "based on evidence."
Albano said the bill adopts a very strict regulatory framework and promotes people's right to health by ensuring safe and quality access to medical cannabis.
Albano clarified that marijuana will be available only to qualified patients with identification cards (IDs) issued by the Department of Health.
He also clarified that the bill is not about the recreational use of marijuana.
"It does not amend or, in any way, contravene the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 which recognized the medical use of dangerous drugs including marijuana (Section2)," he added.
Other authors of the measure are Representatives Joselito Manalo, Jose Panganiban Jr., Maximo Rodriguez Jr. and Johnny Pimentel. (SunStar Philippines)