Marijuana plant (Reuters image) | Cannabis Oil
MANILA, Philippines – Opinions are divided about the legalization of medical marijuana in the country.
Under the Philippines law, marijuana is considered a dangerous and illegal drug.
It requires a special permit from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be able to use it for medication.
But a health reform advocate believes that legalizing medical marijuana can be possible in the country but under proper and detailed regulations.
“Compassionate use sa FDA na iyong kunyari may sakit ka tapos hindi ka gumagaling dito and then iyong relative gusto. Doctor niya ang magre- request sa FDA at paratingin iyong gamut, let’s say, galing Canada para gamitin ito sa pasyente. Pero tayo hindi pa tayo nagma-market by law hindi pa kasi approved ang medical marijuana,” explained Dr. Anthonay Leachon.
Dr. Leachon noted that unlike cigarettes which are consumed by smoking or sniffing, marijuana needs a special process when use as medication.
“Dapat po oil or tablet. May forms po depende po kung ano ang doablity pero definitely hindi ito hihithitin,” he said.
Dr. Leachon added that medical marijuana is only given to terminally or seriously ill patients such as cancer or HIV-AIDS patients.
Filipina nurse Wendy said she observed an improvement in her son’s condition since he started using cannabis oil.
Wendy’s son who has non-verbal autism and hyperlexia, a condition characterized by strong decoding skills and delayed comprehension.
With the help of cannabis oil, Wendy said her son’s social skills improved.
He has started communicating and does eye-to-eye contact.
Wendy currently lives in the United States where medical marijuana is legal.
Despite seeing its benefits, Wendy believes a thorough study is still needed on the effects of medical marijuana to the human body.
“I agree that CBD oil use needs further research investigation, testing to prove its benefits and if its 100% effective and safe. It’s fairly new to the industry. As for us, the only proof we need to see is Spam developing as fast as he is right now. It greatly improved his quality of life even though he’s just 4 as well as ours,” Wendy said over the phone.
Health undersecretary Eric Domingo said recommendations to legalize the use of medical marijuana is still under study by the Department of Health (DOH).
In fact, they have started consulting experts on the matter.
“We need to collect scientific evidence before an official position is made. In the meantime, FDA accepts applications for compassionate use of unregistered drugs,” Domingo said.
Recently, the FDA received three applications to use medical marijuana, however Domingo said, they failed to fulfill the criteria set by the agency. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)