House OKs bill legalizing medical marijuana on 2nd reading

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2019 06:13 PM | Updated as of Jan 23 2019 10:07 PM

MANILA - The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a bill seeking to legalize the medical use of marijuana. 

House Bill 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act is a measure "providing compassionate and right of access to medical cannabis and expanding research into its medicinal properties."

Malacañang earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte will sign any bill legalizing medical marijuana, despite waging a bloody campaign against illegal drugs. 

Duterte had stirred controversy by saying that he sometimes takes the substance to stay awake. 

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has admitted using a marijuana-based pain patch to address pain in her cervical spine.

There was a renewed public discussion on medical marijuana after Miss Universe Catriona Gray was asked about her opinion on the legalization of the substance during the pageant's question and answer portion, to which she replied that she backs its "medical use but not so for recreational use."

Some doctors have opposed medical cannabis, saying its efficacy has yet to be confirmed. The use of medical marijuana is legal in California and some other parts of the United States, Canada, and Poland, among others.

--Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News