Duterte amenable to medical marijuana legalization

Published December 4, 2018, 4:49 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has “never in his life” smoked marijuana but he is amenable to the legalization of such drug for medical purposes, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President has no qualms with allowing medical marijuana as long as it is regulated or controlled.

“For purposes of medicine to heal, he is in favor but not for use other than that,” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.

Panelo noted that several countries have passed laws on the regulated use of marijuana for medical use.

“There have been researches. In fact in some countries legalized ang marijuana. You pointed out Canada. In fact in some states in the US ginagamit talaga iyon pero siyempre controlled iyon, regulated. The President is for that,” he said.

Panelo also attested that the President was not a marijuana user, saying he was merely kidding when he mentioned the matter in a Palace event on Monday.

“Never in his life,” Panelo said, when asked if the President tried smoking marijuana.

Duterte earlier confessed he used marijuana to stay awake during heavy workload but later clarified he was only joking about the matter. He made the controversial comment after complaining about his gruelling work schedule during a recent regional summit.

Panelo explained that the President’s marijuana joke does not necessarily make him a bad leader.

“Even Presidents are entitled to jokes,” he said.

“He has set a good example by being a good leader. One joke will not make him a bad leader,” he added.