MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives thinks it is high time for the Philippines to legalize and regulate the medical use of cannabis or marijuana.
Voting 163-5-3, legislators approved on 3rd and final reading House Bill 6517 or the Act Providing Compassionate and Right of Access to Medical Cannabis and Expanding Research into its Medicinal Properties and for Other Purposes on Tuesday, January 29.
The bill would make it legal to use marijuana to benefit patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions.
HB 6517 defines this as any disease causing wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures including those characteristic of epilepsy, or severe and persistent muscle spasms.
The passage of the medical marijuana bill at the House is not surprising, as Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo herself backs it. Arroyo admitted that she uses marijuana patches to ease pain whenever she visits a country where medical cannabis is legal. (READ: Legalizing medical marijuana: ‘Listen to patients’)
The former president-turned-Pampanga 2nd District representative suffers from multiple cervical spondylosis or the degeneration of the intervertebral discs, causing pain in the spine.