Ubial backs endorsement of medical marijuana bill

By , on September 28, 2017

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial announces during the Mindanao Hour press briefing at the Kalayaan Hall of Malacañan Palace on July 17, 2017 that medical services are being provided to the families and individuals from Marawi City that are currently taking refuge in different centers. Also in the photo is Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
FILE: Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial at the Kalayaan Hall of Malacañan Palace on July 17, 2017. Also in the photo is Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella. (ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial has thrown her support on the endorsement of the medical marijuana bill by the House of Representatives’ committee on health.

“We are for making it available for restricted and highly regulated medical use like what we have for morphine and other highly addictive drugs,” Ubial said when asked about the development at the House on Tuesday.

On Monday, a House committee approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

In a statement from the bill’s author Isabela First District Rep. Rodolfo Albano, the House Committee on Health endorsed the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act.

However, Albano explained the bill prohibits marijuana to be administered in its raw form, as a plant or as hash which would be smoked.

“You have to extract the properties of the medicine, parang [like] opium. You have to extract opium para maging [for it to become] morphine. ‘Pag morphine na, kailangan mo pa rin ng clearance sa doctor [Once it becomes morphine, you still need clearance from a doctor],” Albano said.

The bill seeks to allow and legalize the medical use of marijuana, which is acknowledged to have therapeutic purposes in the treatment of chronic medical conditions such as arthritis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, among others.

Marijuana is among the prohibited materials under the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The Philippine Cannabis Compassion Society (PCCS) applauded the move, saying the bill “ensures that legitimate patients will be given adequate access to affordable quality medical cannabis.”