Groups: make medical marijuana available for patients

Groups pushing for the medical use of marijuana has sought the support of the government to make it available for some patients in regulated doses.

In a forum organized by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), The Philippine Moms for Medical Marijuana and the Philippine Cannabis Compassion Society said they are urging the government to study the medical use of marijuana for patients with certain medical conditions.

Kathleen Kim, founder of Philippine moms for medical marijuana harped on the legalization of medical marijuana in other countries and cited a TV documentary that showed the positive effects of the plant to a sick child.

Kim who admitted of being a "recreational and spiritual" user of marijuana said there are already eight children whose parents sought the help of the group to access the so-called medicinal benefits of marijuana as a last resort after traditional medicines have failed. One of them is a parent of a 21-year old boy who is suffering from epilepsy.

Marijuana, also known as Cannabis, pot, or weed, is the most abused illegal drug in the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported.

While several testimonies point to the healing properties of marijuana, NIH said that marijuana intake increases heart rate by 20 to 100 percent making users more prone to heart attack.

Meanwhile, Department of Health (DoH) assistant secretary Dr. Eric Tayag, who is also in the forum, advised the group to lobby their cause at the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).

Tayag said randomized clinical trials are needed to strongly establish the medicinal properties of the controversial herb.

"We are warning you, the eyes are on you. Baka magkaroon ng arrests. Kung patago kayong nagpaparating, don't!" he said.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

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