Palace: Marijuana is illegal in Philippines
MANILA, Philippines—Marijuana is an illegal substance in the Philippines and Malacañang remains steadfast in implementing the law, a Palace spokesperson said Friday.
The remark came a day after the first recreational marijuana industry in the US opened in Colorado, kicking off an experiment that will be watched closely around the world.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that unless Congress amends the law, marijuana remains a prohibited substance under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
“It’s prohibited under the Dangerous Drugs Act. It will remain as such until Congress amends it otherwise,” Valte said at a media.
Valte stressed that Philippine law enforcers would continue to enforce the anti-illegal drugs law that prohibits all narcotics, including marijuana, in the country.
“As of the moment, the Executive Department implements the law as it is,” she said.
Pot is still illegal under the American federal law, but the US Justice Department outlined an eight-point slate of priorities for pot regulation, requiring states to keep the drug away from minors, criminal cartels, federal property and other states in order to avoid a federal crackdown.
Colorado voters in 2012 approved the legal pot industry that opened on Wednesday. Washington state has its own version, which is scheduled to open in mid-2014. Uruguay passed a law in December to become the first nation to regulate pot.
Pot advocates have argued a legal market would generate revenue for states and save money by not having to lock up so many drug offenders.
But a group of addiction counselors and physicians in the US said they’re seeing more marijuana addiction problems, especially in youths, and that wider pot availability will exacerbate the problem.
“This is just throwing gas on the fire,” said Ben Cort of the Colorado Center for Dependency, Addiction & Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Hospital. With Associated Press
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