A majority of Filipinos support the legalization of medical cannabis

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The legalization of cannabis for medical purposes is supported by the majority of Filipinos, according to a recent study by independent think tank Capstone-Intel Corp.

The survey, conducted Aug. 1-10, found that 63 percent of 1,205 respondents supported legalizing cannabis for medical purposes, provided supporters “conduct more research [et] set strict guidelines for access and dosage control.” Respondents also highlighted the need for increased awareness and education regarding medical cannabis.

The remaining 37% are opposed to legalization, reports the Manila Times.

The poll also found that 38% of respondents agreed that legalizing medical cannabis could provide a viable solution for patients who have not found effective treatment through conventional medicine. On the other hand, 29% neither agree nor disagree with this statement, while 24% agree that legalizing cannabis for medical purposes could bring relief to these patients.

The poll also showed that 49% of respondents called for continued research and studies into the potential benefits and harms of using cannabis for medicinal purposes.

According to the study, 55% of those surveyed said they “strongly agreed” with the legalization of medical cannabis in order to guarantee its quality, safety and adequate control of its dosage. And 30% of those surveyed “agreed” with this statement.

The legalization of medical cannabis has still not been enacted in the Philippines, even though two bills propose it, at the initiative of MP Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Senator Robin Padilla who are its main defenders.

Ms. Arroyo joined forces with former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to support the legalization of medical cannabis by introducing House Bill 7817.

Padilla supports Senate Bill 230 (Medical Cannabis Compassionate Access Act), in which he cites Israel as a good example of the use of medical cannabis due to its strict rules and regulations. The project has been underway since 2019.

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