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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsRobin Pushes Medical Marijuana as Compassionate Alternative Treatment

Robin Pushes Medical Marijuana as Compassionate Alternative Treatment

Sen. Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla is pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana or cannabis as a “compassionate alternative means of medical treatment” in the Philippines.

Padilla, in filing Senate Bill 230, also sought the expansion of research into the medicinal properties of marijuana, which has been widely used as herbal medicine to treat conditions including gout, rheumatism, and malaria.

He also included safeguards in his bill to “ensure that abuses for casual use or profiteering” will be avoided.

“The State should, by way of exception, allow the use of cannabis for compassionate purposes to promote the health and well-being of citizens proven to be in dire need of such while at the same time providing the strictest regulations to ensure that abuses for casual use or profiteering be avoided,” he said in his bill.

Under the bill, medical cannabis – which refers to products such as capsules and oil, and not raw cannabis – may be used  for “debilitating medical conditions” of “qualified patients.”

The bill defines “debilitating medical condition” to include cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous system of the spinal cord, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis or similar chronic autoimmune deficiency, diseases requiring hospice care, severe nausea, sleep disorders, mood disorders, recurring migraine headaches, and other debilitating medical conditions identified by the Department of Health through the Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee.

It designates the DOH as the principal regulatory agency that shall establish Medical Cannabis Compassionate Centers (MCCCs) in public tertiary hospitals. The DOH will also set up a Prescription Monitoring System and an electronic database of registered medical cannabis patients and their physicians.

The Food and Drug Administration will test medical cannabis products, while the Dangerous Drugs Board and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency will monitor and regulate medical cannabis.

Also, the DOH will issue registry ID cards to qualified medical cannabis patients.

Meanwhile, the bill contains safeguards to prevent the abuse of marijuana, including:

* 12 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to P10 million for qualified patients who will abuse cannabis; or give or sell it;

* 12 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to P10 million for officials or employees of the MCCC who will dispense medical cannabis without written certifications from the certifying physician or registry ID cards of qualified patients;

* 12 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to P10 million for those who will use falsified ID cards or S2 licenses to obtain medical cannabis;

* 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to P10 million for doctors who certify and prescribe ng medical cannabis without S2 licenses or prescribe such for patients who are not qualified, or prescribe cannabis for their own use or for the use of relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity;

* 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to P10 million for officials or employees of the MCCC who supply medical cannabis to unqualified patients;

* 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to P10 million for those who buy medical cannabis but are not authorized to do so

Under the bill, a doctor who violates the provisions of the measure faces the suspension or revocation of his/her professional license.

Meanwhile, the bill also provides for enhancing research and development for medical cannabis – and the training of medical cannabis physicians and pharmacists.

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