Sen. Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla’s bill pushing for the legalization of marijuana or cannabis as a “compassionate alternative means of medical treatment” has gained support from various groups.
One of the groups, the Philippine Cannabis Compassionate Society (PCCS), lauded Padilla for his “boldness” in filing such a proposed measure.
“On behalf ng aming grupo maraming salamat for your boldness, na finally after nine years of advocating, meron na tayong bill sa Senate (On behalf of our group, I want to thank you for your boldness. Finally after nine years of advocating, we have a bill in the Senate),” according to the group’s spokesperson Dr. Donnabel Cunanan, who paid a courtesy call on Padilla in his office in the Senate on Wednesday.
Dr. Cunanan said it is imperative that medical marijuana and its potential not only be used as a pain reliever for the dying but also as a cure for those who have a fighting chance to survive. She noted there are many patients who need access to medical cannabis that is safe and affordable.
The PCCS is a group of patients, parents and caregivers seeking to institutionalize the legal use of medical marijuana.
Meanwhile, Chuck Manansala of Masikhay Research, who also visited Padilla in his office, said it is key that medical cannabis be made “available and safe” to those who need it.
Joining Dr. Cunanan at Mr. Manansala was Dr. Gem Marq Mutia, founder of the Philippine Society of Cannabinoid Medicine.
Padilla earlier filed Senate Bill 230 to allow the use of medical marijuana or cannabis, as well as further research into its medicinal use. Padilla noted marijuana has been used as a herbal medicine for conditions such as gout, rheumatism, and malaria.
Under the bill, medical cannabis in capsule and oil form may be used to address “debilitating medical conditions” of “qualified patients.”
But Padilla, in his bill, stressed there should be penalties for the abuse of marijuana. The bill contains safeguards to prevent such abuse.
The bill also provides for enhancing research and development for medical cannabis – and the training of medical cannabis physicians and pharmacists.