Davide opposes bill legalizing medical use of marijuana
CEBU, Philippines — For Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, the Philippines will surely meet a problem once lawmakers rush the deliberations of the bill which seeks to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Davide, a lawyer and former Cebu City legislator, is opposing the proposed measure for now not unless there is sufficient proof to substantiate its medicinal benefits or its efficacy to cure diseases.
“If the bill is approved, many areas will be the same as Mexico, particularly Sinaloa, which is notorious for marijuana plantations. The problem if gets approved many might signify interest or apply for the growing of marijuana plant,” he told reporters.
Sinaloa and other neighboring states have been known as the major producer of Mexican marijuana and opium. The Sinaloa Cartel is reportedly the largest international drug trafficking and organized crime syndicate in the Americas.
Davide understood that this controversial bill which legalizes marijuana for medical use will tread a longer debate or argument.
For now, he has doubts on the decision of creating a law for its use especially when there is lack research or study that would support the efficacy of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
“I am really having second thoughts on that (measure) unless there is medical proof that would indicate that marijuana… can cure certain diseases,” he said.
He recalled of having stated that he approved initially of this proposed measure but he clarified that there has to be enough basis that would suffice the medical effectiveness of marijuana.
The Cebu governor suggested that the proposal should be studied thoroughly and should not be deliberated hastily at the legislature.
He said all significant stakeholders and sectors from medical experts to health advocates have to be consulted.
At the current Philippine setting, the use and possession of marijuana is prohibited and punishable under the existing law.
Despite that, “backyard” plantation in the province remains to be rampant, said head of the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office that also laid reservations on approving such measure considering that marijuana production here could hardly be controlled. — Jahzeel Willow S. Coquico, and Tanja Catherine R. Stöckli, USC Interns, MBG, (FREEMAN)