House advances medical marijuana bill in the Philippines

The bill seeks to establish a regulatory framework for the use of cannabis for qualified patients.

The Philippine House of Representatives took a significant step towards legalizing medical marijuana after passing House Bill (HB) 10439, the “Access to Medical Cannabis Act,” on second reading through voice voting.

The bill is sponsored by Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers. It seeks to establish a regulatory framework for the use of cannabis for qualified patients with specific medical conditions. He emphasized that HB 10439 is not a gateway to recreational marijuana use.

Barbers pointed out that cannabis-based medicines are already legal in over 60 countries and are used to treat various conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. He also cited studies demonstrating cannabis’ effectiveness in managing pain associated with terminal illnesses.

“We cannot continue to ignore these facts and deprive Filipinos of potential medical solutions due to unfounded fears,” Barbers stated. He also said the lack legislation for medical marijuana lost a “valuable opportunity to save, or at the very least, improve the lives of countless patients, who could have benefited from the healing wonders of medical cannabis”.

The bill was passed through voice voting, highlighting growing legislative support for medical marijuana. If enacted, HB 10439 would create a regulatory framework encompassing cultivation, manufacturing, distribution for medical and research purposes, prescribing, and dispensing of medical cannabis to patients.

A Medical Cannabis Office under the Department of Health is also proposed to oversee the program’s implementation.

The passage of HB 10439 on the second reading signifies a crucial step towards legalizing medical marijuana in the Philippines. The bill now awaits further deliberation and voting before potentially becoming law.

Source: PNA
Image: Unsplash

Bubbles enjoys watching K-dramas and comedies in her spare time. She has a strong background in customer service and business operations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors. She has a degree in Business Management and a Master's Degree from DLSU.

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