Albano refiles bill on medical marijuana

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ISABELA REPRESENTATIVE Antonio T. Albano has called for support on legalizing marijuana for medical purposes as he refiled House Bill 279, the Philippine Medical Cannabis Compassionate Act.

“It’s important for us to make sure that the medical aspect gets passed first before we deal with recreational because I’m totally against the recreational purposes of the marijuana, precisely because it is the stumbling block for us not to be able to dispense the medications… to everyone else,” said Mr. Albano on Monday.

Under the bill, the Department of Health shall issue registry identification (ID) cards to qualified medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) or Bureau of Customs (BoC), meanwhile, will be in charge of ID verification and volume regulation for marijuana brought in from other countries.

“I’m proposing in this bill, the PDEA or Customs, i-che-check niya kung tototo ba itong (will check the) card, so he can only bring in a certain quantity…because the facilities here should be the one to give the dispensations of the medicines,” said Mr. Albano.

The lawmaker noted that marijuana has been proven to be effective in treatments relating to certain medical conditions, including cancer. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras