ONCE enacted into law, the proposed Senate bill on legalizing the use of medical cannabis or marijuana, the Philippines will accept result of studies and research from worldwide. Vast majority of the local lawmakers are convinced of the plants’ efficacy. 

This was disclosed by Dr. Richard Nixon Gomez, inventor, scientist and general manager of Bauertek Corporation, the sponsor for the weekly Media Health Forum, held every Monday in Quezon City.

Other guest panelists this week, were Zarah Uytingban Cruz and Dr. Gem Mutia, adult medicine specialist founder, Philippine Society of Cannabinoid Medicine.

Cruz who is based in Sacramento, California will soon move back to the Philippines to help in pushing for the legalization of the use of medical cannabis as medicine for various ailments. She was a former program specialist from the Office of Cannabis Management in Sacramento and specializes in policy development and licensing regulations since 2017. She has over 20 years of state of California and local government experience in areas of public policy, inter government relations and communications.

Cruz served as public information officer of  Sacramento. She was also the editor-in-chief of a local Filipino-American newspaper in Los Angeles, California. She was one the leaders in moving for the legalization of the use of marijuana in Sacramento, according to Gomez.

Cruz is a resource person in the Philippine Senate, Congress and other fora when it comes to move of legalizing marijuana use as medicine in the Philippines.

Mutia said it’s no longer an issue on whether the medical cannabis can cure or not because even Health dept. secretary Dr. Ted Herbosa believes in its effectiveness. It’s also record-breaking that there are 10 bills in all that seek to legalize use of medical cannabis. This is monumental, Mutia said.

“Marami ng nakakita ng ebidensiya na talagang nakakagamot ang cannabis and the seven bills on medicalization,” Mutia said. This is apart from the two bills that seek to decriminalize cannabis in the list of dangerous drugs list. Another bill seeks for the establishment of Philippines Cannabis Development Authority or PHILCADA.

A lawyer, Atty. Henry Enaje filed for a petition before the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) to honor the reclassification by the United Nations to “lower” the category of cannabis and cannabis resin to remove the CBD  or cannabidiol as a dangerous drug,.

There are administrative and legislative move to push for the legalization of marijuana to be used as medicine. The pending bills are now “updated” in the Senate, according to Mutia.

Cruz explained that in the original bills, there were only five entities throughout the Philippines allowed by the govt. to administer, cultivate and manufacture cannabis while the amended version of Sen. Robinhood Padilla, the private sector will have the opportunity to be part of the cannabis industry.

It was also discussed during the forum that the tobacco industry in the north is now dying and there is a potential that this could be replaced by the cannabis industry.

This is from the fact that tobacco has no medical benefits and said to be one of the top killers globally. In the Philippines alone, there are 112,000 Filipinos die yearly due to tobacco use.

On the other hand, the use of alcohol makes one aggressive.

Mutia aired hope that before year ends, the bills on cannabis, will be brought to the plenary and once approved, it goes straight to the Philippine president for signature.

Within 120 days following the law’s enactment, the Philippines will accept all research and clinical trials from worldwide. No need to repeat these, said Gomez. (Nelson Santos-PAPI)

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