Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Wednesday, September 28 said he is open to make the proposed law on “medical marijuana” a reality in consideration of the economic benefits it may bring to the local planters in the Cordillera region.
During a briefing on the proposed 2023 budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said he has already discussed the matter with the director of the PNP regional office in Cordilla who also offered some suggestions.
“Sabi niya kami dito wala na hinto ang uprooting ng marijuana volume volume at napakarami ang lupa ng Cordillera ay very fertile for marijuana plantation, kahit anong uprooting gawin nila, after how many months mayroon na naman (He told me that uprooting marijuana here is non-stop, they do so volume by volume, the land of Cordillera is very fertile for marijuana plantation, no matter how many uprooting activities they do. After many months, the plants are still there),” Dela Rosa said during the hearing.
“Kung ito ay exploit natin economically halimbawa maging legal medical marijuana, napakalaki source of income ng mga taga Cordilera na kusang tumutubo dun sa kabundukan (If we exploit this economically, like authorizing legal medical marijuana, it would be a source of income for those in the Cordillera regions where it just grows abundantly),” he said.
“So sabi niya I would suggest na malaki revenue ang kikitain ng government dito. Yung livelihood ng mga local folks ng Cordillera ay gaganda kung ito ay ma legalize natin (He suggested the government will earn huge revenues from this. The livelihood of local folks in Cordillera would also improve if we legalize this),” he narrated.
Dela Rosa said the suggestion was an “eye-opener” for him, as long as the use of cannabis would only be for medical purposes.
“So being the chairman of this (Senate) committee on (public order and) dangerous drugs, I am very supportive (of the measure),” he said.
Dela Rosa said he is certain that the PDEA would be able to strictly implement and regulate the use of marijuana.
“Malayo naman ang distinction medical matijuana at recreational marijuana (there is a huge distinction in the use of medical marijuana from recreational marijuana),” he said.