Lawmaker admits using marijuana

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Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano 3rd has admitted to using marijuana during his younger days.

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Albano made the confession during deliberations by the House committee on health on House Bill 4477 or the proposed Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis (marijuana) Act. The bill creates a Medical Cannabis (marijuana) Compassionate Center and Medical Cannabis Regulatory Authority which will be licensed to acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, sell, supply and dispense cannabis, paraphernalia or related supplies and educational materials to registered qualifying patients.

“Ang kinatatakutan nilang ito ay magiging gateway drug . . . ako gumamit ng marijuana noon, hindi ako naadik. Hindi ako nag-cocaine o shabu (People are afraid that this will be a gateway drug…I have used marijuana before, but I was never addicted to it. I didn’t try cocaine or shabu),” Albano said.

“Wala namang nangyari sa akin because of my experience with marijuana. Lumakas lang siguro akong kumain (I did not suffer anything as a consequence of using marijuana. I just ended up eating a lot more),” he added.

He said the legalization of marijuana use for medicinal purposes should be given a chance because it will help manage pain for terminally-ill patients and patients with debilitating diseases such as cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy, severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, as testified to by Dr. Minerva Calimag of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

Albano’s measure also provides that the medical marijuana will be available in injectable or in liquid form.

If enacted into law, the Philippines will be the first country in Asia to legalize the medical use of marijuana.

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