PMA opposes bill on medical cannabis

PMA opposes bill on medical cannabis

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:44 AM February 11, 2024

Cannabis sativa is the mostabused narcotic in the country.

MOST ABUSED NARCOTIC Cannabis sativa is the most abused narcotic in the country. —FILE PHOTO

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) has opposed any new legislation for the legalized use of cannabis, saying its harmful effects outweigh its supposed benefits and that there are already sufficient regulations for the compassionate use of marijuana.

“The medical community supports the use of FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved medical cannabis preparations for specific indications,” the PMA said in a position statement dated Feb. 6, which was a “consensus of a coalition of 21 medical organizations in the country.


“[However], there is no need for new legislation to access FDA approved medical cannabis for specific indications. Legislation will not be able to catch up with the advances in health technology, and health technology should not be legislated,” it added.


The PMA, which is the umbrella organization of all the current 98,202 physicians in the country, stressed that “all legislative bills on the use of cannabis or marijuana other than those approved for specific clinical conditions by the current Philippine FDA should not be passed.”

Experimenting with lives

“We cannot risk conducting a policy experiment on our people, by delisting cannabis [from] the dangerous drug list … The legalization of cannabis is a step that could irreparably harm the social fabric of our nation by enabling easier access to marijuana for Filipino youth,” the PMA said.

For the medical community, legalizing the use of cannabis “will send a wrong message, especially to our youth, that our government considers cannabis as a safe substance, and therefore will expose our citizens to unnecessary harm.”

“The youth are particularly susceptible to developing dependency, which can derail their educational achievements, social relationships and future endeavors. They are at significant risk when exposed to cannabis,” the PMA said.

“This is why we stand firmly against any measures that will increase accessibility and social acceptance of its use,” it added.

According to the PMA, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, or Republic Act No. 9165, already mandates local scientific studies on cannabis use for medical purposes.


More harm than good

“Although there is variability in the experience on the harms of legalizing cannabis in various states and countries, there is a clear trend toward the harmful effects that outweigh the purported benefits,” the PMA said.

PMA’s statement came a day before the joint House committees on dangerous drugs and health on Wednesday approved an unnumbered substitute measure a consolidation of 10 House bills—allowing the use of marijuana for medical use.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chair of the dangerous drugs committee, clarified that the proposed measure would not legalize marijuana, as it will remain a prohibited drug under RA 9165.

READ: House joint committee approves medical marijuana bill

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The bills seeks to create another bureaucratic layer, a Medical Cannabis Office under the Department of Health, to grant accreditation to doctors and other licenses for the medical use of marijuana.

TAGS: Health, marijuana, medical, PMA

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