Sotto: No need for bill on cannabis use

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    SENATE President Vicente Sotto III yesterday said he will not object to the decision of the Dangerous Drugs Board which recently approved “in principle” the use of cannabidiol (CBD) to alleviate severe forms of epilepsy.

    This is as long as the chemical compound found in marijuana will be used “in medicine form” and conforms with guidelines set by the board and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Sotto said.

    The DDB decision was welcomed by groups pushing for the legalization of cannabis as medicine.

    Sotto, principal author of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, reiterated there is no need for Congress to craft a law that will legalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes as this is already authorized under RA 9165.

    He said RA 9165 sets down the policy that “the government shall aim to achieve a balance in the national drug control program so that people with legitimate medical needs are not prevented from being treated with adequate amounts of appropriate medications, which include the use of dangerous drugs.”

    The policy, he pointed out, is implemented through a circular issued by the Food and Drug Administration providing for the guidelines for the issuance of a “compassionate special permit.”

    “The DDB move proves that the law being proposed in the HOR is unnecessary. There are more important proposed pieces of legislation that our honorable counterparts at the HOR should spend their time on,” he said.