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Experts study medical pot use

/ 05:14 AM July 10, 2016

The Department of Health has formed a panel to study the possible benefits of medical marijuana.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial yesterday said experts from the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health comprise the group looking at the advantages of using marijuana for medical purposes.

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“A panel has been formed. I am not a clinician so I have no idea about medical marijuana. But I’ve heard from various groups that it has medicinal benefits so we’re looking at that,” Ubial said.

The panel will study the possible benefits of medical marijuana so that it won’t be abused.

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President Duterte has expressed support for studies on the use of medical marijuana, noting that it has become an ingredient in modern medicine.

Mr. Duterte, however, is opposed to the use of marijuana as a recreational drug.

Under the previous administration, lawmakers pushed for the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, but some medical groups opposed the proposal.

In 2015, then Health Secretary Janette Garin said the health department would study proposed laws on legalizing medical cannabis to be used in treating disease or improving symptoms.

House Bill No. 4477, or the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, would legalize the use of medical marijuana.

But some medical groups opposed the measure, pointing out that medical marijuana’s effectiveness and safety for certain conditions were still being tested in clinical trials.

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TAGS: Department of Health, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, Medical marijuana
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