Are Cannabis Users Suffering in the Philippines’ War on Drugs?

Since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in the Philippines he has been waging a bloody war on drugs that threatens to destabilise the country entirely, and has affected users of cannabis as well as “hard” drugs such as meth. We spoke to a prominent cannabis activist to learn more about the situation and the everyday risks for cannabis users.

On May 9th, 2016, the population of the Philippines elected a new president – Rodrigo Duterte, former mayor of the city of Davao. Duterte has been linked to the notorious Davao Death Squad, believed to be responsible for the deaths of over a thousand suspected drug dealers between 1998 and 2008.


Philippines: The Rest of the World Knows War on Drugs Doesn't Work

President Duterte is waging a hard-line just-kill-them-all war on drugs at a time when the rest of the world already knows the truth about such a strategy: It doesn’t work.

This was underscored just a few weeks before Duterte was elected.

As the Philippine election campaign was wrapping up in April, world leaders met at the United Nations to rethink the decades-old global war against drugs and drug abuse.

“A war that has been fought for more than 40 years has not been won, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told the New York Times. “When you do something for 40 years and it doesn’t work, you need to change it.”


Philippines Medical Marijuana Bill Refiled; DOH Forms Research Team

Pronouncements from no less than President Duterte encouraged a lawmaker to refile a bill that would pave the way for the legalized medical use of marijuana.

Isabela 1st district Rep. Rodolfo Albano III has refiled the proposed ”Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act,” as embodied in House Bill (HB) No. 180.

Meantime, a panel of health experts was recently formed and is now checking the health benefits of cannabis or marijuana.

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said that there are already experts looking into the supposed health benefits of marijuana.


Philippines President Says Yes to Medical Marijuana

Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte said he will never allow recreational marijuana, but he is open to the use marijuana for medical purposes.

Speaking to reporters Monday night, Duterte said there are now medicines that have marijuana as a component.

"Medicinal marijuana, yes, because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine now. There are medicines right now being developed or already in the market that contains marijuana as a component but used for medical purposes," he said.

Duterte, however, was firm on saying that those who will be caught using marijuana for recreational purposes will be punished, as provided by law.


Manila: Cops seize P2 million worth of marijuana from van on NLEX

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Police seized 130 kilograms of dried marijuana leaves worth around P2 million from a Toyota Hiace van they intercepted on Sunday (December 20) at the Balintawak exit of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

Acting on an intelligence tip, police officers from the National Capital Region office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (NCR-CIDG) conducted a surveillance in La Trinidad, Benguet, and trailed the van, which was headed for Manila.

As the van neared the NLEX, the driver, later identified as Moises Simsim, speeded up, apparently noticing he was being followed, according to Chief Supt. Victor Deona, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).


Bishops from Colombia and the Philippines Express Support for Medical Marijuana

The plant is a gift from God and the problem is not its use, but its abuse, says retired bishop Jose de Jesus Rodriguez Pimiento

Radio Vatikan reports that in a recent conversation about the legalization of marijuana, Colombian cardinal, Jose de Jesus Rodriguez Pimiento, says he supports using the plant for medical and therapeutic use.

“Marijuana is made by God, and as such, it is a good part of creation,” he said.


Phillipines Group wants marijuana legalization tackled in presidential debates

MANILA, Philippines – A group pushing for the legalization of marijuana for medical use has called for the inclusion of the controversial issue in presidential debates.

Kimmi del Prado, Philippine Cannabis Compassion Society founder, said they want to know the stand of the presidential candidates on the issue.

“We need to ask the presidential aspirants whether or not they are for the legalization of medical cannabis in the Philippines,” she said.

Del Prado expressed belief that the 16th Congress would not be able to pass House Bill 4477 or the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act.

But the group is not losing hope the proposed measure will be approved by the next Congress.


The economic case for decriminalising drugs

Is it better to have drug use made legal, and therefore taxed and regulated, or might this encourage more drugs to be consumed – with the social and other costs associated with that? 

The UN wants its members to decriminalise drugs, and Sir Richard Branson thinks that is just great. Well, it is not quite like that; as so often, the story is more nuanced than the headline. The paper Sir Richard leaked, which urges “decriminalising drug use and possession for personal consumption”, was drawn up for a conference in Kuala Lumpur on harm reduction by Dr Monica Beg, an official at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna. It has since been withdrawn and, as you can gather from the outcry, it is certainly a “third-rail issue” – you touch it at your peril.


Philippines: Cannabis use in consumer products banned

MANILA, Philippines - While lawmakers are debating the legalization of medical marijuana, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) have banned the use of marijuana in consumer products.

In a joint advisory yesterday, the FDA and PDEA said the use of “hempseed oil or their varieties and derivatives from cannabis or marijuana in consumer products” is prohibited in the country to protect the public from the harmful effects of dangerous drugs.

Certain countries classify marijuana as a prohibited drug but allow the sale of products such as soap and chocolate containing cannabis.


P300,000 worth of marijuana seized in Maguindanao

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Lawmen seized some P300,000 worth of compressed marijuana leaves in a raid Sunday at a roadside farming village in Matanog town west of Maguindanao province.

The illegal merchandise, ready for distribution to buyers, were found in one of the houses which operatives from the regional police command of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the Matanog municipal police and the ARMM's Regional Public Safety Battalion raided Sunday morning.

Initial reports obtained from the ARMM regional police in Camp S.K. Pendatun in Parang town indicated that the raid was carried out after vigilant folks informed local officials of the presence of a group keeping dried marijuana leaves in a peasant enclave in Bugasan Sur in Matanog.


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