Arroyo adds voice in call for legalizaiton of medical marijuana

Published January 15, 2019, 5:18 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Ben Rosario

Former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo added her voice to the growing number of known personalities batting for the legalization of medical marijuana in the country, saying that she had experienced using it.

Pampanga Representative and former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)
Pampanga Representative and former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a media interview following a consultation with urban poor folk in Quezon City, Arroyo said she used a “pain patch” also known as cannabis patch, to relieve the pain caused by her cervical spine condition a few years ago.

“I really believe in medical cannabis. As you know I have my problem here (cervical spine) and when I’m in a country that allows it, I put a pain patch,” she revealed.

The former chief executive was quick to clarify that she does not use the effective pain relief patch in the Philippines because it remains prohibited under the law.

Arroyo said she filed the medical cannabis bill because of her personal experience.

“So I authored that bill because I believe that it can help me and many other people but there was a lot of objection to the bill from the House and from the Senate,” she stated.

Reigning Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray voiced out her support to the proposal when she won the title.

“I’m for the use (of marijuana) in the medical use but not so for recreational use because I think if people were to argue what about alcohol and cigarettes, well, everything is good but in moderation,” the Filipina beauty said before a live television audience.

Isabela Rep. Rodito Albano, also an author of the bill, said House Bill 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act may still pass due to the support aired by Arroyo and Gray.

HB 6517 has been presented for plenary deliberation in the Lower House but was placed in the legislative back burner for several months now.