Philippines medical cannabis bill advances, but it’s not law yet

(Update: The proposed law died in the Senate after President Rodrigo Duterte had a change of heart and withdrew his support.)

Original: A bill to legalize and regulate medical cannabis in the Philippines was approved on its second reading in the House of Representatives this week, but steps remain before it can become law.

The measure would open MMJ access to patients for a wide variety of uses and call for the creation of a Medical Cannabis Compassionate Center – effectively laying the legal foundation for a functional industry in the eighth-most-populous country in Asia.

Medical cannabis is technically permitted in the Philippines because of a 1992 Department of Health (DOH) Administrative Order and the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which stipulates that “people with legitimate medical needs are not prevented from being treated with adequate amounts of appropriate medications, which include the use of dangerous drugs.”

In reality, however, the combination of no legal local supply and a regulatory quagmire makes medical marijuana nearly impossible to access in the country.

Read the proposed Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act here.

Read the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 here.

Read the Department of Health Administrative Order No. 4 s. 1992 here.

The bill before the Philippines parliament would make medical cannabis accessible only through pharmacists at DOH-retained hospitals, specialty hospitals and private territory hospitals licensed and registered with the DOH for such a purpose.

The proposed law now faces a third and final vote in the House before being transmitted to the Senate, where some lawmakers have expressed support for the bill.

If approved in the Senate, the bill goes to a Conference Committee that could introduce new provisions or simply try to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has the final say and has expressed support for any legislation to legalize medical marijuana.

The House adjourns Feb. 8 before resuming May 20.

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]

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3 comments on “Philippines medical cannabis bill advances, but it’s not law yet
  1. RICHARD on

    I would love to visit Manila, however I have been successfully treating my health problems with T.H.C. I agree that Shabu (meth) is a dangerous and deadly drug that should be outlawed But not marijuana. Any public official that continues the prohibition against marijuana is far too ignorant and poorly educated to hold any public office. I am quite disappointed but I must decline the Philippines.
    Gustung-gusto kong bumisita sa Maynila, gayunpaman ay matagumpay kong tinatrato ang aking mga problema sa kalusugan sa T.H.C. Sumasang-ayon ako na ang Shabu (meth) ay isang mapanganib at nakamamatay na droga na dapat ipagbawal Ngunit hindi marihuwana. Ang sinumang pampublikong opisyal na nagpapatuloy sa pagbabawal laban sa marihuwana ay malayo sa walang alam at mahihirap na edukado upang i-hold ang anumang pampublikong opisina. Medyo nabigo ako pero dapat kong tanggihan ang Pilipinas

    Reply
  2. Robert on

    Medical marijuana could reduce social ills and help stabalize disabled people with serious health conditions and reduce pain in the lives of disabled people.

    Reply

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