Issue of May 12, 2019
Mt. Province

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Physicians stress no tangible study on medical marijuana
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

Unless there are enough studies validating claims that marijuana has medicinal benefits, doctors specializing in otolaryngology,  head, and neck surgery said the plant must never be taken.

In a recent press conference, Dr. Arlex Atanacio, medical officer III, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, said that aside from its psychoactive effects, smoking marijuana, just like tobacco, is also harmful to the health.

Marijuana is one of the most abused drugs in the world, according to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

Atanacio said unless there are enough studies proving the medicinal benefits of marijuana, they will not support proposals that legalize medical marijuana.

On January this year, the House of Representatives approved House Bill 6517 or the Act Providing Compassionate and Right of Access to Medical Cannabis and Expanding Research into its Medicinal Properties and for Other Purposes.

Atanacio said that just like tobacco, smoking marijuana also exposes the user to cancer-causing chemicals.

The Department of Health has not taken a stand regarding the proposal and has yet to go full blast in conducting researches on its supposed medicinal qualities because the present anti-illegal drugs law of the Philippines prohibits marijuana byproducts from being registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

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