A lawmaker on Sunday slammed the approval “in principle” of the Dangerous Drugs Board on the use of cannabidiol to alleviate severe forms of epilepsy.
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Ray Villafuerte said the decision of the DDB on the legal use of cannabidiol—which is derived from the hemp plant—should prod Congress into acting on pending proposals for the domestic production and international marketing of such medicinal strain of the marijuana (cannabis).
“This game-changing decision by the DDB should serve as a strong impetus to the Congress to act soon enough on a pending legislative measure creating a state agency to oversee the development of what could be a legitimate multi-billion-dollar export industry, focusing alone on the production and marketing of CBD or the kind of medical cannabis from this strain of the cannabis plant that is not addictive and does not produce the so-called buzz or ‘high’ for users,” Villafuerte said.
House Bill No. 3961 seeks to create a Philippine Cannabis Development Authority, but Villafuerte explained this does not promote or legalize the recreational or non-medical use of the cannabis plant.
Villafuerte noted the United States' Food and Drug Administration has already approved the first and only prescription medicine using 100 percent CBD called Epidiolex.
“It is very important for the Philippines to catch up with their western and Asian counterparts in legalizing, under prescribed conditions, the cannabis for medical and scientific/research purposes, while at the same time cashing in on its commercial opportunities, economic value and market potential," he said.