The House Committee on Health has approved the bill allowing the use of cannabis, or marijuana, for medical purposes.
Meanwhile, the House Justice Subcommittee on Prosecutorial Reforms is ready to present the measure strengthening the antihazing law of 1995 to its mother committee
In House Bill (HB) 180, Rep. Rodolfo T. Albano III of Isabela said his proposal seeks to provide compassionate and right of access to medical cannabis and expand research into its medicinal properties.
The measure seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which classifies marijuana, or cannabis, as a dangerous drug.
Albano said HB 180 should not be deemed in any manner as advocating, authorizing, promoting or legally or socially accepting the use of cannabis, or marijuana, for any nonmedical use.
He noted that, in the Philippines, thousands of patients suffering from serious and debilitating diseases would benefit from legalizing the medical use of cannabis. He stressed that the recorded use of cannabis as medicine goes back to about 2,500 to 10,000 years ago in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine.
Recent studies, he said, show that cannabis has established effects on control of epileptic seizures, pain management in multiple sclerosis and arthritis, treatment of symptoms associated with Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV-AIDS) and palliative care in end-stage cancer treatment.
“Potential medical effects based on clinical trials include prevention of cancer from spreading, management of anxiety, slows progression of Alzheimer’s disease and control of muscle spasms and tremors. Cannabis use in children with epilepsy and seizure disorders have been shown to be effective without the deleterious side effects of anti-epileptic medications,” Albano said.
The bill mandates the secretary of the Department of Health to lead the formulation of regulations to implement the act. The secretary shall also issue registered identification cards to qualified patients after a careful review of their required documents.
It also provides for the establishment of the Medical Cannabis Compassionate Center (MCCC), which refers to any entity registered with the DOH and licensed to acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, sell, supply and dispense cannabis, devices or related supplies and educational materials to registered qualifying patients.
The MCCC shall guarantee the appropriate dispensation of cannabis and shall not release more than the prescribed dosage for one month to a registered qualified patient or designated caregiver. It shall maintain internal confidential record of each entry, which includes information on the date and time the cannabis was dispensed, the amount of cannabis being dispensed and on whether it was dispensed directly to the patient or to the designated caregiver.
A registered MCCC or Medical Cannabis Safety Compliance Facility, shall implement appropriate security measures to deter and prevent the theft of cannabis and unauthorized entrance into areas containing cannabis.
Persons who discriminate qualifying patients and violate confidentiality shall be
Meanwhile, the House Justice Subcommittee on Prosecutorial Reforms on Tuesday approved HB 3467 prohibiting all forms of hazing and regulating the initiation rites of fraternities, sororities and other organizations.
According to Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, author of the bill, hazing has been, and continues to present, a serious problem in the Philippines and in other countries in the world, including Indonesia, Russia, India and the United States.
She said the government should act to correct such ubiquitous and institutionalized activity as hazing has become.
Herrera-Dy’s bill makes all hazing illegal, instead of just regulating hazing, with penalties ranging from fines to life imprisonment, depending on the seriousness of the hazing incident, and makes any crimes committed by the victim as a result of the hazing attached to the perpetrator. Importantly, the bill also expands the definition of hazing beyond just incidences related to gaining membership in an organization.
The bill also expands the definition of hazing to cover psychological injuries in addition to physical suffering, as well as beyond just incidences related to gaining membership in an organization. It will be transmitted to the mother committee for deliberations.