PH doctors say no to medical marijuana bill

Jee Y. Geronimo

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PH doctors say no to medical marijuana bill
Medical groups oppose House Bill 4477 which they say is 'contrary to the policy of the state to safeguard the well-being of its citizenry'

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine medical groups on Thursday, October 16, expressed their opposition to a House bill seeking to legalize and regulate the medical use of marijuana in the country.

“We oppose [House Bill] 4477. We cannot risk endangering the health and safety of the Filipino,” read the statement released by the following organizations:

  • Philippine Medical Association
  • Philippine College of Physicians 
  • Child Neurology Society of the Philippines
  • Group for Addiction Psychiatry of the Philippines
  • Pain Society of the Philippines 
  • Philippine League Against Epilepsy, Inc.
  • Philippine Neurological Association
  • Philippine Psychiatric Association 
  • Philippine Society of Clinical and Occupational Toxicology (PSCOT)
  • UP-PGH National Poison Management and Control Center (NPMCC)

Half of these medical groups earlier proposed the creation of a task force that will review existing policies and systems, and explore other options regarding medical marijuana. (READ: PH doctors want task force on medical marijuana)

House Bill 4477, or the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Bill, was filed in May by Isabela 1st District Representative Rodolfo Albano III after months of dialogue with advocates and stakeholders. (READ: When medicines fail, marijuana is moms’ last hope)

According to the bill, marijuana “has been confirmed to have beneficial and therapeutic uses to treat chronic or deblitating disease or medical condition.”

But the medical groups questioned the bill, which they said does not address the compassionate use of medical marijuana.

They said that while they understand the concerns of patients who may “potentially benefit” from medical marijuana, it is their “moral and ethical responsibility” to ensure the patients’ safety.

“HB 4477 is contrary to the policy of the state to safeguard the well-being of its citizenry particularly the youth from the harmful effects of dangerous drugs,” the statement read. –

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.