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Cannabis Advocates Demand Action In The Philippines

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The cultivation and/or use of cannabis is currently illegal in the Philippines, per Republic Act 9165 and the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The level of penalty depends on the amount involved and whether there was perceived intent to distribute by law enforcement.

Furthermore, even simply having metabolized THC in a person’s system is illegal in the Philippines, with offenders being required to undergo at least six months at a government rehabilitation center if they are prosecuted.

Back in December 2022, a petition was submitted by cannabis advocates that sought to reclassify cannabis from its current position on the nation’s list of dangerous substances. The board that oversees such petitions has yet to respond. Advocates are ramping up pressure to yield the response. Per excerpts from Inquirer:

In his statement, Manansala said that the DDB acknowledged the receipt of the petition during a Senate Committee hearing on December 13, 2022.

He added that he was given a date of July 31, 2023 for a “definitive action” on the petition but the “date came and went without a response, much less an action.”

Manansala noted that he was again snubbed by a DBB representative at the latest Senate hearing on the matter last month.

One of the driving forces behind the push to reclassify cannabis in the Philippines is to afford suffering patients the opportunity to seek safe access to cannabis medicines and therapies.

House Bill 4208 was previously filed by Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte. The measure seeks to create a national regulatory agency to oversee the production and marketing for the export of cannabidiol.

“We are in favor of the legalization of medical use of marijuana and its products, your honor,” Commission on Appointments on Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa stated at the time.