Philippines: Duterte Favors Medical Marijuana

Last year, shortly after winning the election, President Rodrigo Duterte said in several press interviews that he was personally in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

“Medicinal marijuana, yes, because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine,” he replied when asked by a TV reporter to comment on the subject.

“There are medicines being developed, or are now in the market, that contain marijuana for medical purposes,” he said.

Mr. Duterte, however, said he would push for stricter regulation to ensure that medicinal marijuana would be offered only to those who really need it.

He also said he was opposed to the use of marijuana as a recreational drug.

Two years earlier, 70 congressmen, or 24 percent of the House of Representatives, endorsed the original medical marijuana bill, which was revised and is now known as House Bill No. 180, or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act.

The bill’s endorsement,...

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