Senate urged to block marijuana legalization bill
Senator Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday asked the Senate to block the passage of a bill at the House of Representatives seeking to legalize the use of marijuana.
In a privilege speech during the Senate plenary session, Sotto said that the move to legalize marijuana use and possession is a “door-opener to more dangerous drugs such as shabu, heroin and cocaine.”
“If we legalize the use of marijuana, it will become a disaster. Let us stand up against legalization now.otherwise there evil will take root,” he said.
Sotto stressed that the supposed medical benefits of marijuana have not been scientifically proven.
Sotto said Republic Act 9165, also known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug. Its possession and use is punishable from 12 years to life imprisonment, depending on the quantity.
He reminded his colleagues that the Philippines is a signatory to the United Nation’s Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs which classified marijuana as a dangerous drug.
”Every year, there are numerous petitions asking the U.N. that marijuana be legalized because of its so-called medical benefits. But the United Nations has consistently refused to give in to their petitions simply because up to now, there is no empirical data that could back-up their claims. I do not think that these people who are lobbying for the legalization of marijuana are much better than the powerful research machinery of the United Nations- Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UN-CND),’’ he said.
He said the Netherlands is now considering to prohibit the use of marijuana because based on their experience, the consumption of marijuana has tripled among the youth aged 18 to 20 years old since they have made its use legal.