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DOH values benefits of medical marijuana

NO less than the secretary of the Department of Health (DOH), Dr. Ted Herbosa, has recognized the benefits of medical cannabis or marijuana. A fast-tracked bill is in Congress for the legalization of its use.

Only few are now opposed to the passage of pending bills in Congress seeking to legalize the use of this medical cannabis as medicines. The recently concluded Joint Congressional Committee on Dangerous Drugs and Health unanimously approved that the proposed bills be forwarded to a technical working group, preparatory to submission to the Congress for deliberation during plenary session.

Dr. Marq Gem Mutia, adult medicine specialist and founder of Philippine Society of Cannabinoid Medicine, said it’s the first time ever that a DOH chief has recognized the medical cannabis and its benefits “unlike his predecessors.”

Dr. Richard Nixon Gomez, an inventor, a scientist and general manager of Bauertek Corporation, the sponsor of the weekly Media Health Forum held every Monday, said the number of those opposed to legalize the use of marijuana, has lessened.

With some 10 pending bills in Congress and Senate seeking to legalize the use of the medical herb or marijuana, he said that more and more evidence are gathered indicating its benefits.

Gomez said that the use of the controversial marijuana, should be looked at from a bigger and global perspective as more doctors, experts, scientists, politicians around the world advocate for its use, based on studies. The benefits are for physical, mental and emotional. “Ito ay tinatanggap na ng mga sports, athletic bodies, NBA. Tinatanggap na rin ng Olympics at iba pang athletic bodies at maraming hospital.”

To this date, he said around 60 countries and counting, are prescribing the use of medical cannabis to their patients for various ailments.

Dr. Marq Gem Mutia meanwhile said that the use of medical cannabis has been going on for many years and the only “traditional” medicine that was available even during the time of national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. It was, he said a “mainstream medicine” before its prohibition.

Around 100 ailments and diseases could be treated with marijuana and it was clinically proven for chronic pain, chemotherapy associated with nausea and vomiting, multiple sclerosis and intractable epilepsy.

Dr. Camille Garcia, a clinical psychologist and CEO of the Clinic of the Holy Spirit, said that medical cannabis is also used for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. She said that cannabis contains cannabidiol or CBD, which is one of the best medications for various ailments like psychosis, schizophrenia.

Meanwhile, Gomez brought good news to the forum on the status of the pending bills in Congress that led to the formation of a technical working group (TWG) in the Senate. He said, they discussed the contents of the bills and amended some and once done, this would be signed by the bills’ authors and will be brought to the plenary for another discussion. It is in this stage that Gomez’s group needs the help of various advocates and supporters.

Bauertek is a research, manufacturing and development company in Guiguinto, Bulacan that has the capability to manufacture medicines from marijuana based on the specific formulation or needs of the patients.

Drs. Garcia and Mutia were guests at the forum hosted by veteran broadcasters Riolando “Lakay” Gonzalo and Edwin Jose Eusebio.


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