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In favor of medical marijuana



robert roque robroq

IT may come as a surprise to a lot of people but some senators are open to legal­izing medical marijuana in the country.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri stated that the substance was allegedly used in treat­ing and saving the children of some of his friends suf­fering from debilitating con­ditions such as epilepsy.

Senator Grace Poe felt apprehensive about the implementation of any law that aims to legalize the use of a prohibited drug since it could be abused. She explained that if marijuana was to be accessible legally, people might tend to self medicate at home when it should be dispensed prop­erly in a hospital under strict supervision. Poe be­lieved that a full-blown hearing among senators was needed to settle the issue.

For his part, Senator Panfi­lo Lacson wanted clear safe­guards to be established first to prevent any type of abuse before legalizing medical marijuana. He pointed out that the intention may be good if it was for medical reasons but the purpose may be defeated altogether if marijuana would be used for leisure or pastime.

Supporters of the legal­ization of medical mar­ijuana, including some parents of children with serious medical conditions, called for the passage of the measure last year and gave assurance only quali­fied patients would gain access to it.


House Bill 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act re­mains pending before the House of Representatives. It prescribes the rules for the proper use of medical marijuana, including the designation of a qualified medical cannabis physi­cian. A qualified medical cannabis patient will be is­sued an identification card, assigned a qualified medical cannabis caregiver, and a qualified medical cannabis compassionate center.

This can be expensive. Whether or not such care will be made free to indi­gent patients is the sixty-four-dollar question.

We have to understand that a lot of people with serious medical conditions are financially unstable while some are even un­able to provide food on the table. Some do not even have a table to eat on.


SHORTBURSTS. Con­gratulations to my fellow Lions Clubs International past district governor, An­ton Wong Lim, who will be inducted as president of the Philippine Liok Lan Foundation, Inc., a family association consisting of six surnames of the same clan. The group’s 64th induction ceremonies will be held on December 19 at the Grand Ballroom of Winford Manila Resort and Casino on MJC Drive, Sta. Cruz, Manila. Anton’s two-year term ends in 2020… For comments or reactions, email firing­line@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this col­umn at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/