6 Key Things to Remember About the Medical Marijuana Bill

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On September 26, the House Committee on Health unanimously approved the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act authored by Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III.

The bill aims to establish a formal system in the Philippines that will facilitate the strict and proper use of cannabis to treat specific illnesses in qualified patients. As per the bill: "This Act should not be deemed in any manner to advocate, authorize, promote, or legally or socially accept the use of cannabis or marijuana for any non-medical use. For this reason, it provides for control measures and regulation on the medical use of cannabis to ensure patients safety and for effective and efficient implementation of this Act."

The Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration will oversee the initial regulations. Back in August, President Rodrigo Duterte stated that he was in favor for the medical use of cannabis.

Here are the most important details of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act:

1| Strictly for medicinal purposes only
Section 2: The State shall legalize and regulate the medical use of cannabis which has been confirmed to have beneficial and therapeutic uses to treat chronic or debilitating diseases or medical condition that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis.

2| Some of the conditions where the medical use of cannabis can be prescribed according to Section 3 are the following:


-Multiple sclerosis
-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
-Rheumatoid arthritis

3| The supply of medical cannabis will be mainly limited to designated centers by the government.

Section 3(d): Medical Cannabis Compassionate Center refers to any entity registered with the Department of Health and licensed to acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, sell, supply and dispense cannabis, devices or related supplies and educational materials to registered qualified patients.

4| Not everyone who practices medicine will be allowed to prescribe cannabis for medical purposes. Section 6 specifies the requirements:

-a medical degree
-a bona fide relationship with the patient
-license to prescribe drugs
-professional knowledge of the use of medical cannabis

5| There will be a formal ID system to profile qualified patients, as well as their corresponding caregivers.
Section 8: The Secretary shall issue registered identification (ID) cards to qualified patients after a careful review of the documents required by the Department and included in the implementing rules and regulations of this Act.

6| The following will be exempt from civil and criminal liability for the prescribed use, handling and distribution of medical cannabis under Section 18:

a) Qualified patient
b) Registered and designated cannabis caregiver
c) Certifying physician for prescribing medical cannabis
d) Registered and licensed medical cannabis compassionate center and its agents
e) Registered medical cannabis safety compliance facility and its agents

This story originally appeared on FHM.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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