Arroyo on medical marijuana: It works
MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo on Tuesday vouched for the effectiveness of marijuana for medical purposes and admitted using a marijuana pain patch for her spinal condition when she is in a country that allows it.
The Pampanga congresswoman is a co-author of House Bill No. 6517 which is at the period of amendments in the lower House. The Senate has no counterpart measure as of now.
“I really believe in medical cannabis. As you know I have my problem here (cervical spine) and when I’m in a country that allows it, I put a pain patch but here in the Philippines, I cannot do it,” Arroyo said in an interview during a consultation and medical mission at NGC West, Gilarmi Covered Court in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City.
The former president said she co-authored the bill because it could help her and other people.
“So I authored that bill because I believe that it can help me and many other people but there was a lot of objection to the bill from the House and from the Senate. That’s why we are just letting the legislative process take its course,” she added.
HB 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act seeks to provide patients suffering from severe and debilitating diseases with alternative medical options, said Isabela 1st District Rep. Rodito T. Albano III, the principal author.
Once enacted into law, the measure would allow medical cannabis to be available to qualified patients duly identified by the Department of Health.
The bill will not decriminalize the smoking of cannabis or marijuana for non-medical purposes, Albano stressed.
Malacañang earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte would sign any bill that would legalize medical marijuana./gsg