Philippines President-Elect Supports Use of Medical Cannabis

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The president-elect of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, signaled he supports the use of marijuana for medical purposes, possibly opening the door to significant new MJ business opportunities in Asia.

Duterte – who is scheduled to take office June 30 – is the first Asian leader to support medical cannabis, Chuck Manansala, founder of the Medical Cannabis Research Center in the Philippines,  said via email.

Speaking to reporters, Duterte noted that certain medicines contain marijuana, Filipino broadcaster ABS-CBN reported.

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

By contrast, Duterte is adamantly opposed to recreational marijuana use, saying “I will not allow it ever.”