Isabela Representative Antonio Albano is appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his position on the legalization of medical marijuana in the Philippines.
Albano made the appeal during his meeting with patients, their parents, advocates of medical marijuana on Monday.
Albano is the author of House Bill 279, or the proposed "Philippine Medical Cannabis Compassionate Act," whose primary intention was to provide patients with the right of access to medical cannabis as a compassionate alternative means of treatment.
Duterte had earlier supported the legalization of medical marijuana, and Malacañang even said he would sign any measure legalizing medical marijuana.
But just last March, the President reversed his position, saying that the legalization might lead to the proliferation of marijuana plantations.
Albano is hoping that Duterte would rethink his position, considering the condition of the children whose parents he was able to talked to during their meeting on Monday.
"I made statement in saying that I am not disobeying my President's order, but I'm actually asking him and appealing for the kinds and likes of these kids over here who needs this for him to again open his ears and his compassionate heart that we hopefully pass this bill," he said.
"I'm sure the President would find out that we have enough strict guidelines for this bill to prevent its manipulation, to prevent its use for recreational means. I think the President and the Senate would be able to pass this bill," he added.
Under House Bill 279, Medical Cannabis Compassionate Centers (MCCC) will be established and will be authorized to sell, supply and dispense cannabis to qualified patients or their caregivers through S3-licensed pharmacists.
Qualified patients and caregivers will be issued an identification cards which will be presented to MCCCs for dispensation of medical cannabis.
The MCCCs is mandated not to release more than the prescribed dosage for one month to qualified patient or caregiver.
Penalties have also been set to any qualified patient using marijuana for recreational use. —LDF, GMA News