Philippines president promises to sign medical marijuana bill after Miss Universe supports the issue

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Over the weekend Catriona Gray, the Miss Universe contestant representing the Philippines, made headlines for saying she supports medical marijuana during the interview portion of the beauty pageant. And now that Gray has won the Miss Universe competition, the most powerful politicians in her home country are now supporting medical marijuana as well, writes Joseph Misulonas. 

A spokesperson for the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says the leader will sign a medical marijuana bill if it's passed by the legislature. There is currently a bill being considered in the country's legislature that would allow for medical marijuana, and the recent statement by Miss Universe has brought renewed attention to the issue.

"He (The President) is in favor of limited use of marijuana," Duterte's spokesperson told reporters. "Logically then he will support and sign any bill that would be consistent with his stand."

Duterte has previously stated his support for medical marijuana. However, as president he has also waged a violent War on Drugs that has been criticized by human rights groups around the world. According to government data, around 5,000 people have been killed in police operations related to Duterte's War on Drugs. So perhaps passing medical marijuana will lead to a lessening of the violence.

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