THE House committee on health on Tuesday approved a bill legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
The committee, chaired by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan of Quezon, passed House Bill 180, or the proposed Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which attests that cannabis has beneficial and therapeutic uses to treat chronic or debilitating medical conditions.
“The controversial Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act was unanimously endorsed by the House committee on health after extensive consultation with patients, advocacy groups, health care practitioners, experts in the regulation of controlled substances for medical use, medical cannabis industry professionals and law enforcement agencies,” Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano said.
Albano said the decision of the committee was a welcome development.
“I have high hopes under the Duterte administration that this measure would be enacted into law. Finally, there is hope for our people, especially our children, who suffer from medical conditions like epilepsy, cancer, and multiple sclerosis,” Albano said.
Albano said in his bill that marijuana has confirmed beneficial and therapeutic uses in treating chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions.
These include cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; and severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, he said.
Under the bill, the use of cannabis for medical purposes will be legalized and regulated, Albano said. The bill also seeks to establish a regulatory office under the Health department to supervise the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
Under Albano’s proposal, registered identification cards will be issued to qualified patients after a careful review of the documents required and included in the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed law.
“An entity shall operate as a Medical Cannabis Compassionate Center after approval of its application and registration. An MCCC shall guarantee the appropriate dispensation of cannabis and shall not release more than the prescribed dosage for one month to a registered qualified patient or designated caregiver, Albano said.