THERE is now a snowballing move in Congress, particularly in the House of Representatives, to legalize the production, marketing and use of the cannabis plant in the Philippines.
The move is spearheaded by Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte, a staunch supporter of the nationwide war on illegal drugs, a priority program of tough-talking President Rodrigo Duterte.
Congressman Villafuerte said the speedy congressional action on House Bill (HB) 3961 will not run counter to the national government’s policy against the “illicit drug trade.”
Note that the United Nations-Commission on Narcotics Drugs (UN-CND) has deleted cannabidoil (CBD), the non-addictive component of marijuana, from its list of most dangerous drugs.
Reports said marijuana has therapeutic benefits and could ease the sufferings of people with various diseases, such as cancer, AIDS, spinal cord injuries, chronic pain and seizure disorders.
The highly-articulate and hard-working Bicolano congressman called on the influential House committee on health, headed by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, to submit it to a vote by the panel.
Villafuerte said the CBD is neither addictive nor producing the so-called buzz or “high” for recreational users.
He stressed that the kind of CBD that he wants the government to market from marijuana for its multi-billion-dollar export potential is the same ingredient found in carrots and black pepper.
Villafuerte said that last February, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) which is mandated to craft policies in dealing with illegal drugs in the country, approved the use of CBD for people with epilepsy.
With the “game-changing initiative” of the UN-CND, various quarters said that it’s certainly high time to discuss the pros and cons of utilizing the cannabis plant as a medicine.