Official Petition: Support and Pass HB6517 (Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act)
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We are the Philippine Cannabis Compassion Society (PCCS). We are patients. We are parents, families and friends of people with serious medical conditions. We deem it urgent for patients to have access to safe, affordable and available medical cannabis.
Please support and approve House Bill No. 6517 (then HB180) or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act filed by Congressman Rodolfo T. Albano III of Isabela (1st District) on June 30, 2016.
The bill seeks "for the patient to have access to safe, affordable, available medical cannabis prescribed by a registered physician in cases where cannabis has been found to be effective in prevention, treatment and management of specified symptoms, illnesses and diseases", and authorizes qualified organizations "to develop, seek and carry out research programs relating to the medical use of cannabis."
Cannabis has been recorded as medicine for more than 5,000 years. It has been recognized as medicine by the United Nations since 1961. Scientific research from all over the world have confirmed the plant’s therapeutic benefits for patients with seizures and tremors, cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV-AIDs, among many other serious diseases.
The United Nations’ Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 affirms the importance of medical use of controlled substances. The Preamble notes that "the medical use of narcotic drugs continues to be indispensable for the relief of pain and suffering” and that “adequate provision must be made to ensure the AVAILABILITY of narcotic drugs for such purposes". Articles 1, 2, 4, 9, 12, 19, and 49 contain provisions relating to "medical and scientific" use of controlled substances, INCLUDING CANNABIS. In almost all cases, parties are permitted to allow dispensation and use of controlled substances under a prescription, subject to record-keeping requirements and other restrictions.
Scientific studies and the people’s demand for cannabis as safer alternative to synthetic drugs have forced the governments in 28 countries, and in 29 states (including Washington D.C) in the US to recognize the plant as medicine and grant the use of medical cannabis by qualified patients.
The Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) provides in Article 2 Section 16 "that in the case of medical laboratories and medical research centers which cultivate or culture marijuana, opium poppy and other plants, or materials of such dangerous drugs for medical experiments and research purposes, or for the creation of new types of medicine, the (Dangerous Drugs) Board shall prescribe the necessary implementing guidelines for the proper cultivation, culture, handling, experimentation and disposal of such plants
In the Philippines, the death of Moon Jaden Yutuc, suffering from Dravet Syndrome, in September 2013, opened the discussion on the patient's access to medical cannabis. Despite the doctors’ declaration that they have exhausted all possible options to stop the baby’s epileptic seizures, parents Jun and Myca refused to give up. From the documentary “Weed” by CNN’s Dr. Sunjay Gupta, their readings and personal networks worldwide, they learned about the healing properties of cannabis in treating severe forms of seizure. They sought for cannabis oil and asked that they be permitted to give Moon Jaden the medicine. Their request was denied. Moon Jaden may still be alive today if treated with cannabis.
More and more people came out and bonded together to seek help for the same reasons. Several hopeful patients have died since then without the chance to legally avail of medical cannabis. How many more should we lose as we wait for our lawmakers to pass HB6517?
The issue of medical cannabis is literally a matter of life and death. It is an issue on the fundamental right to health and the right to life.
We humbly ask your support to pass HB6517, the act that will ensure qualified patients access to SAFE, AFFORDABLE and AVAILABLE medical cannabis.
Thank you very much.
#YesToMedCan #YestoHB6517 #MakeItHappen #HealtheFilipino
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