Palace: Duterte probably wants safeguards to avoid weed abuse
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte probably would just want to have “multiple safeguards” to prevent the abuse of marijuana when he said that he was against its legalization for medical use, Malacañang said Monday.
In a Palace briefing, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he had yet to ask the President about his final stand on the issue since the Chief Executive had previously said he would want to legalize medical marijuana.
“You know I’m not sure exactly [what] his statement [meant] — whether it was a general change of mind or he’s only referring to specific [situations],” Panelo said.
In a speech during the PDP-Laban’s campaign rally in Negros Occidental last Friday, March 8, Duterte said he was now against the legalization of marijuana for medical use, saying that drug users would just use it as an “excuse” to use the substance.
“Pwede rin naman na kaya niya sinabi yun baka kailangan ng maraming safeguards, kasi nga as you said baka gamitin niyo lang ’yan later on [for non-medical reasons]. Kung walang safeguards talagang puputok ‘yan,” Panelo said.
[It could also be that he said that because he would want to have multiple safeguards because you might use it later for non-medical reasons. Without safeguards, it will really get out of hand.]
The Palace official added that the President’s remarks might stem from his statement that he had “no knowledge on the medical findings on marijuana.”
“I am ignorant of that kind of research, I must admit. And I do not read it, and I do not intend to legalize it. I don’t like it,” the President said in his Negros Occidental speech.
On previous occasions, the President had said that he would want the legalization of marijuana but not for recreational purposes.
In December 2018, Malacañang said that the President would sign any bill legalizing medical marijuana.
Panelo also earlier said the President favored “controlled and regulated” use of marijuana for medical purposes.
“I’ll ask him kung ayaw niya nang outright, o ano lang, confined na confined kung ano’ng safeguards,” he said.
[I’ll ask him if he’s really against it outright, or if he would just want safeguards to really confine its use.] /atm
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.