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How Does Ordinary Filipinos Benefit from “Medical Marijuana Law”

After the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) “initially” authorized the medical use of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound in marijuana that has many well being advantages, it introduced on Monday that “it does not necessarily increase the chances of the government’s legalization of medical marijuana”. According to DDB chairman Catalino Cuy, “With this regulation, there is no need for a separate medical marijuana law since mechanisms already exist to allow the use of dangerous drug compounds in medicine form.” Cuy additionally clarified that the DDB don’t have any energy to legalize medical marijuana. Firmly stating that marijuana use will stays prohibited within the Philippines, be it leisure or medical, he additionally added, “We only reduced some requirements which we discovered were unnecessary to provide the medication for compassionate use of our patients”.

Led by the Philippine Cannabis Compassion Society (PCCS), a company of sufferers supported by dad and mom and household, in addition to advocates/volunteers, pushing for the safe entry to secure medical marijuana, the separate compassionate medical marijuana legislation, House Bill No. 6517, is being proposed with the assistance of assorted advocates to acknowledge different well being advantages and to make the medication extra accessible to public since below the present invoice RA 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the method remains to be tough for Filipino sufferers to accumulate the medication. In addition, advocates additionally declare that the present choice out there, which is Epidiolex, a medication that solely incorporates CBD, could be very costly and appears not possible from atypical Filipinos to afford. In a put up from Sensible Philippines’ Facebook web page on Tuesdaya community of professional hemp / marijuana / various healthcare advocacy teams and people, it cited particulars from Medical News Today web site which states:

“Epidiolex is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s used to treat seizures caused by two forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex contains the drug CBD. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2018, the first drug approved to treat Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex is the first FDA-approved drug made from cannabis. It is available only as a brand-name medication and is not currently available in generic form. It annually costs $32,500 (Php 1,643,362.50) per patient. Epidiolex can cause mild or serious side effects. Serious side effects from Epidiolex aren’t common, but they can occur.”

Marijuana was confirmed remedy for most cancers and other forms of significant illnesses by many research a long time in the past. In addition, advocates declare that not solely CBD gives aid to varied illnesses however the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is a psychoactive that’s doubtlessly damaging to the mind cells when abused, can be an anti-inflammatory efficient support for ache, migraines, insomnia, anxiousness, and in addition helps in combating most cancers cells. With regards to the THC’s potential advantages to epilepsy, scientists from the University of Sydney realized that small doses of THC may be efficient in decreasing seizures. The college’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics discovered this from a examine. In this examine, it examined 51 samples of medicinal hashish extracts from the black market that Australian households had been giving their kids. In 98 p.c of the samples, THC was current. The amount was not sufficient to have an intoxicating impact. 

According to the examine, “just over half of the extracts contributed to a 75-100 per cent reduction in seizures, while a third of extracts improved cognition, and a quarter helped with language skills”. The findings steered extra analysis must be achieved on how THC may very well be “incorporated into a legal medicinal cannabis formulation or be used in conjunction with current anti-epileptic drug treatments”. 

Anastasia Suraev, the analysis affiliate acknowledged that, “We need more rigorous scientific studies to be able to confirm the parent reports of how effective these cannabis extracts [containing THC] are. The majority of families we spoke to were provided their [illegal] cannabis products on a compassionate basis, so either for free or by donation. For the remaining families, they paid around $270 for a month’s worth of product, which equates to around $10 a day. When you compare it with the current legal schemes… for a child with epilepsy a legal product costs around $1,100 per week and this equates to around $160 a day. In a year that’s about $60,000 and that’s a huge discrepancy and that is something that the average family simply could not afford.”

Anastasia Suraev additionally added, “while governments were taking steps in the right direction by easing access to medicinal cannabis for epileptic children, many families may keep turning to the black market because the products were much cheaper”. 

Meanwhile, in accordance to Philippine Cannabis Legal Resource Center – CannaLegal PH, a Manila-based authorized and advocacy useful resource middle which goals to reform Philippine hashish legal guidelines, and foyer for a people-centered and rights-based drug coverage”, “We have to start somewhere. By starting with the approval of cannabis extract CBD for epilepsy does not mean other medical conditions were excluded, or a particular condition was addressed for whatever reason.  Epidiolex is a big pharma brand and the only US FDA approved medical cannabis. If Epidiolex was approved for pain management, then DDB will approve it for pain management first here in the country.” 

The group additionally added, “Thousands of patients and their families are desperately waiting for the publication of the implementing rules of the new board regulations, for them to properly file their licenses to import, possess, acquire and use medical cannabis in processed and medicine form as approved by foreign FDA counterparts. The state can no longer ignore that cannabis is medicine; and that there are other industrial and non-medical uses of it. However, there is still a greater need to revise our current drug laws to further ease and legalize the use of cannabis as medicine in the country. To all the politicians, policy makers and legislators, let us no longer deny the constitutional right to health of the patients and their families. Legislate and regulate the use of medical cannabis now! Cannabis is medicine!”

As of now the DDB is presently finding out and contemplating the regulation pointers for the medical use of CBD which “only covers importation of CBD in tablet form and does not legalize the use of marijuana, a power that belongs to Congress. The proposed regulation has supposedly been “approved in principle” by the drug policymaking physique of the federal government however shall be confirmed by the board at its subsequent assembly. It is in session with numerous sectors to finalize the proposed regulation on the usage of CBD in medication”. Meanwhile, the Malacañang palace additionally reassured that President Rodigo Duterte is in favor of the usage of marijuana however for medical objective solely. 


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