The Manila Times
THE legalization of marijuana for therapeutic purposes is being backed by majority of Filipinos, a recent study by independent think tank CapstoneIntel Corp. showed. The survey, conducted from August 1 to 10, found that 63 percent of the 1,205 respondents favored legalizing medical marijuana as long as its proponents “conduct more research [and] strict policy guidelines for access and dosage control.” The respondents also cited the need for more awareness and education on medical marijuana. The remaining 37 percent were against legalization. The poll also found that 38 percent agreed that the legalization of medical marijuana could offer a viable solution for patients who have not found successful treatments through conventional medicine. On the other hand, 29 percent neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement, while 24 percent agreed that medical marijuana legalization could provide relief to such patients. The poll also showed that 49 percent of the respondents called for further research and reviews into the potential advantages and drawbacks of using cannabis for medical purposes. The survey found that 35 percent of the respondents agreed. Based on the study, 55 percent of respondents expressed a strong level of agreement regarding the regulation of medical marijuana to guarantee its quality, safety and proper dosage control. Additionally, 30 percent of respondents agreed with this statement. The legal use of medical marijuana in the country gained ground in Congress, with Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (Pampanga, 2nd District) and Sen. Robin Padilla as its main advocates. Arroyo has teamed up with former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in endorsing the use or legalization of marijuana for medical purposes in filing House Bill 7817. Padilla backs Senate Bill 230 (Medical Cannabis Compassionate Access Act), where he cites Israel as a good example of using medical cannabis due to its stringent rules and regulations.