Marijuana patch eases pain for Arroyo

PRO-MARIJUANA. Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is an advocate for medical marijuana.

File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

How does Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo help ease pain on her cervical spine?  

She uses marijuana – well, at least in countries that have legalized it.

The Pampanga 2nd District congresswoman admitted she uses cannabis patches to help ease pain whenever she travels to a country where medical marijuana is legal.

The former president suffers from multiple cervical spondylosis or the degeneration of the intervertebral disks, causing pain on the spine.

“I really believe in medical cannabis. As you know, I have my problem here (cervical spine) and when I’m in a country that allows it, I put a pain patch but here in the Philippines I cannot do it,” Arroyo said in an ambush interview in Quezon City on Tuesday, January 15.

She said this was why she co-authored House Bill 6517, which seeks to legalize and regulate the use of medical cannabis to benefit patients suffering from debilitating diseases. (READ: What's in the House bill that would legalize medical marijuana?)

“So I authored that bill because I believe that it can help me and many other people but there was a lot of objection to the bill from the House and from the Senate. That’s why we are just letting the legislative process take its course,” said the Speaker.

The medical marijuana bill remains pending at the House plenary for second reading. –

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the Senate and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.