DDB: UN reclassification of cannabis to not affect domestic drug control
MANILA, Philippines — The removal of cannabis or marijuana from the most dangerous category of drugs will have no immediate impact on the country’s efforts against illegal drugs, the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) said Wednesday.
DDB chairman Catalino Cuy said the country’s drug laws will prevail in terms of the use of marijuana.
“In terms of domestic drug control, this will have no immediate impact as the government will have a jurisdiction relative to classifying and regulating cannabis commonly known as marijuana,” he said in a Kapihan sa Manila bay forum.
“‘Yung ating domestic laws will still prevail,” Cuy added.
The United Nations (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) earlier removed cannabis or marijuana from the most dangerous category of drugs.
With a vote of 27 in favor, 25 against, and one abstention, the CND’s 53 member states moved out marijuana from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
While cannabis was removed from Schedule IV, Cuy said it remains under Schedule I, meaning it can only be used for medical and scientific purposes.
He also said medical preparations of products with cannabis are still required to acquire and comply with the regulatory control requirements from the country’s concerned government agencies such as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.
Cuy also said cannabis is still defined as a dangerous drug under the Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, thus “its unauthorized importation, sale, possession, cultivation and use remains to be punishable under the law.”
“The DDB hopes that the reclassification of cannabis in the International Drug Control Convention will not send a wrong message to the public, especially the youth that it is safe to use,” he added.
“It remains regulated because it is highly addictive and causes negative health, social and legal consequences,” Cuy added.
Cuy vowed that the government will “remain steadfast” in implementing measures to prevent drug trafficking and unauthorized use of cannabis and other dangerous drugs.
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