House body okays bill on medical marijuana
A panel of the House of Representatives has approved a measure that seeks to allow patients with debilitating conditions to use cannabis or marijuana.
The committee on health approved on Monday House Bill No. 180 or the proposed Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which proposes the legalization and regulation of the medical use of medical marijuana.
Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, classifies marijuana or cannabis as a dangerous drug.
However, marijuana has been found to be effective in alleviating symptoms of chronic diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, among others.
The bill, authored by Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano, seeks to establish the Medical Cannabis Compassionate Centers (MCCC) licensed by the Department of Health (DOH) in state-accredited hospitals, specialty hospitals and private tertiary hospitals which can sell, supply, and dispense cannabis to qualified patients or caregivers.
Only a pharmacist with an S3 license issued by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) would be allowed to sell and dispense the substance.
The measure also provides for the creation of the Medical Cannabis Research and Safety Compliance Facilities, where scientific and medical research on the medical use of marijuana can be conducted.
The bill seeks to require qualified medical patients with debilitating medical conditions to be certified by their physicians and be issued identification cards by the DOH.
The PDEA will have the key role in monitoring and regulating the dispensing of the substance in health facilities. /cbb