Philippines: Marijuana as Medicine

Doctors talk of ‘compelling scientific evidence’ to support bill legalizing medical cannabis.

While President Rodrigo Duterte maintains a violent, hardline approach to ridding the Philippines of illegal drugs, a groundbreaking bill is said to be gaining support in the House of Representatives to legalize medical marijuana in the country.

The contrast is so glaring, it’s hard to ignore: While the war on drugs has led to thousands of deaths, House Bill No. 180, or the proposed Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, would improve, if not prolong, the lives of people who ingest marijuana as medicine.

The bill is being reviewed by a technical working group, said Isabela Rep. Rodito T. Albano III, its principal author.

Albano is pushing for the bill’s approval despite opposition from what he calls “uninformed” quarters.

In the Philippines, marijuana is at the top of the list of dangerous drugs under Republic Act No. 9165, or...

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