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    Posted May 13, 2014 by

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    Marijuana legalization in Phl takes new twist

    THE issue on marijuana in the Philippines took another twist Tuesday after some health experts and authorities said they are amenable to its controlled legalization, which means not the entire plant will be legalized for clinical research on its therapeutic value.
    They voiced their support for controlled legalization of marijuana during the first policy forum on medical cannabis held in Makati City.
    The forum was initiated and organized by Rep. Rodito Albano III of Isabela Ptovince, who intends to file a bill legalizing medical marijuana.
    During the forum, Albano said he hopes law enforcement authorities, lawmakers, and parents concerned about the plight of patients will soon allow them to use medical marijuana to help alleviate their pain.
    Senator Tito Sotto said he would change his position in terms of legalization of that particular ingredient in marijuana.
    "I will agree—but for that particular ingredient only. Like for example, heroin, opium poppy, it's illegal but morphine out of opium poppy is allowed. But marijuana per se, it can’t be no matter what we do because it is disastrous to society. Let’s legalize cannabidiol, which is the non-psychotic thing in marijuana. Legalize that, but don't tell me we legalize marijuana," said Sotto.
    Sotto said if cannabidiol is scientifically proven to be therapeutic, he will even help in bringing it before the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to attest to its therapeutic value. "If it is scientifically proven that cannabidiol can cure then I will even help you," said Sotto.
    Dr. Rommel Corral, a clinical testing specialist, said it is the controlled legalization that they are after, and not the legalization of marijuana as a plant.
    "There is a big difference. I totally agree that it is difficult to legalize marijuana per se because it is the plant. Bu since there are active components present within that plant, with advancements in technology, we can actually extract all these things, and at the same time utilize and produce drugs with that specific component so that we could be able to prescribe this among our patients," said Corral.
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