JV: Duterte cautious on medical marijuana

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Reelectionist Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito on Monday said he respects President Rodrigo Duterte’s change of stance on the legalization of medical marijuana attributing it to the latter’s frustration over the continuing illegal drugs problem in the country.

“We have to respect the President’s decision on medical marijuana. It’s the prevailing situation and circumstances probably that made him change his position,” said Ejercito in an interview.

“Because of his frustration on the war against drugs, perhaps he is not taking any chances on the possible substance abuse on use of cannabis in the guise of medical purposes,” he added.

Last week, Duterte said the proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana will not be passed within his term.

As chairman of the Senate committee on health and demography, Ejercito conducted one hearing on the matter last month drawing stakeholders from the health sectors and even some epilepsy and cancer patients that need medical cannabis.

Ejercito said he is inclined to conduct another hearing just to keep the discussions on the medical marijuana open.

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