More than a year after posting, the Philippine Cannabis Compassion Society’s (PCCS) online petition, pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana, has reached over 5,000 signatures out of the one-million target.
PCCS began the Change.org petition back in 2014, setting a goal of one million signatures, to gather public support for the passage of House Bill (HB) 4477, or The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, and for it to be enforced into law.
The petition is addressed to members of the House of Representatives, including House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
As of October 16, it has garnered a total of 5,056 supporters.
Despite only getting 5,000 signatures out of a million in the span of more than a year, a representative of the group expressed in a Facebook comment that there is still a lot of work to be done in order for them to reach their goal.
Cannabis or marijuana, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is “a psychoactive preparation of the Cannabis sativa plant” which is a widely cultivated, trafficked and abused drug in the world.
HB 4477, which was first introduced by Rep. Rodolfo Albano 3rd in May 2014, “seeks to regulate the safe use of Cannabis or medical marijuana” in the Philippines.
Several government officials, however, have expressed concerns over the proposed bill because of the possible rise in drug abuse if it is signed into law.
“Cannabis has been used 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 has confirmed the plant’s therapeutic benefits for patients with epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV-AIDS, among many other serious diseases,” PCCS cited in its online petition.
JACQUELINE BOUVIER ARIAS