PDEA wants marijuana in tablets or capsules
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is all for making the use of marijuana legal provided it is in tablet or capsule form.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said the agency recognized the need of patients to have “access to safe, affordable, available medical cannabis” but the proposed bill on compassionate use of marijuana for medical purposes should have strict safeguards.
Aquino posed no objection to House Bill No. 180, or “An Act Providing Compassionate and Rights of Access to Medical Cannabis and Expanding Research into its Medicinal Properties,” authored by Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III but suggested changes in the draft law.
Although marijuana had been found to be effective in preventing, treating and managing chronic or debilitating health conditions, he said there was a need to limit legalization to its medicinal property.
He suggested improvements in the bill, including differentiating the definitions of marijuana and cannabis, although both practically mean the same.
The PDEA chief said the bill should be very specific and “only legalize the use of tablet or capsule preparations” of the medical component of Cannabis sativa, the plant from which a psychoactive drug was usually extracted.
Likewise he suggested that a doctor should have a bona fide relationship with a patient and be competent to certify the use of medical marijuana.
Violation of RA 9165
“It is more prudent to include a statement that [clarifies that the] ‘cultivation, possession, use, sale, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of cannabis not in accordance with the provisions of the act shall be deemed a violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165, [or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002],” Aquino said.
Aquino stressed that the PDEA was “inclined toward the passing of House Bill No. 180” and its enactment into law.
However, he said, control measures and regulations on the medical use of cannabis were “needed to ensure the patient’s safety and prevent its use for recreational purposes.”
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