Medical ‘grass’ law unnecessary — Sotto

December 18, 2018

THE use of marijuana in medical practice is allowed by the dangerous drugs law, Senate President Vicen-
te “Tito” Sotto III pointed out yesterday.

In a press conference, Sotto called on the different sectors who are pushing for medical cannabis to read the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 which he said clearly states that marijuana can be used for medical purposes.

Sotto said that it can be found in Section 2 of the law which read: “The government shall however aim to achieve a balance in the national drug control program so that people with legitimate medical needs are not prevented from being treated with adequate amounts of appropriate medications, which include the use of dangerous drugs.”

He added that it is also stated in the Compassionate Special Permit Circular No. 2014-009 of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).

In a report by the FDA on October 2017, the agency has been receiving at least 50 applications for compassionate special permits per month mostly for cancer medication.

“As of Septemer 30, 2017, 583 out of 585 applications were granted. In 2016, 558 out of 565 applications were approved,” Sotto said of the report from the FDA.

“That’s in the law already. May mga hindi nakakaalam, ang iba legislators pa naman,” he added.

With this, Sotto said that it is a waste of time conducting hearings on the issue of medical cannabis.

He also disapproved the creation of a Research Institute that will make studies on medical cannabis which he said is too expensive.  He added that planting of marijuana for “research purposes” can be abused.