House of Representatives Approves Medical Cannabis Bill On 2nd Reading

House Of Representative Advances Medical Cannabis Bill to 2nd Reading

MEDICAL CANNABIS –  The House Of Representatives approved the medical cannabis bill on the second reading.

The House of Representatives has given the green light to a bill on its second reading, aiming to legalize the medical application of cannabis or marijuana, which a lawmaker hailed as a crucial support for many impoverished Filipino patients grappling with chronic pain.

During Wednesday’s plenary session, legislators voiced their votes to advance House Bill No. 10439, titled the “Act Providing the Right of Access to Medical Cannabis, Establishing the Medical Cannabis Office and Providing Funds Therefor,” to the next stage of consideration.

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In his speech advocating for the bill, Robert Ace Barbers, head of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, underscored the significance of this legislation for patients suffering from severe illnesses who require authorized access to medical marijuana or cannabis-derived medicine.

“If you look at the last five years alone, we hear about one nation after another rewriting their history by reversing their prohibitions against cannabis and making it available as a form of medical treatment for a long list of medical conditions,” said Barbers.

The lawmaker from Surigao del Norte pointed out that medical treatments derived from cannabis are permissible in over 60 nations and are employed in managing a wide range of medical ailments. These include epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, and various types of chronic pain, including that stemming from end-stage cancer.

“In fact, in many cases, cannabis is used not as an alternative but as a last resort when all else has failed,” Barbers added.

Photo Source: House of Representatives

Barbers highlighted that beyond assisting patients suffering from chronic pain, the proposal would establish a burgeoning industry, fostering job creation and new revenue channels for the government.

He emphasized that the legalization of medical marijuana was geared towards granting patients equal access to cannabis as they do to other pharmaceutical products.

“By no means is this bill a gateway to the recreational use of cannabis,” Barbers said.

Unexpectedly, the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) emerged as one of the bill’s staunchest adversaries, warning that its enactment could lead to a widespread acceptance of recreational marijuana use.

READ ALSO: FDA Chief Samuel Zacate Supports Legalization Of Medical Marijuana In PH

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