No such thing as medical marijuana, Sotto says

Posted at 01/25/14 1:19 AM

MANILA -- Senator Tito Sotto said Friday that there is no such thing as medical marijuana.

In an interview on ANC Prime Time, Sotto said there is no empirical data proving that chemicals in marijuana can cure anything.

"I have documents that prove that it is completely bad, harmful to health and social learning behavior. There's no such thing as medical marijuana," he said.

According to Sotto, families of sick children who have been seeking to legalize marijuana for medical purposes should first go to the United Nations and have the UN remove marijuana from the list of substances that are harmful and dangerous.

The Philippines, Sotto said, is among the signatories in the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, wherein marijuana, or cannabis, is included in the list of harmful substances.

According to Sotto, the American Psychiatric Association in Diagnostic and Statistical Mental Disorders has already proven that there is no disease that marijuana can cure.

"At best, it's just psychological," Sotto said.

Sotto also said he is willing to face the families who are asking to legalize medical marijuana.

"Ask someone to file a bill and we'll call for a hearing, but the first thing that I'm going to tell them, before they go to us, is go to the UN and have them declare marijuana out of the list of harmful and dangerous substances," Sotto said.

"Once they do that, then we'll talk about legalization and I'll listen to what they have to say, but then again I will ask the families whose lives have been affected, ruined and destroyed to face them also," he said.

Ill kids

Members of the Philippines Moms for Medical Marijuana on Thursday said they are not seeking to legalize the recreational use of marijuana but rather, use the plant's medicinal properties.

Dr. Donnabel Cunanan, a dentist and mother of an epileptic child, said their group just wants legal access to medical marijuana in the country for sick people who might benefit from it.

"Hindi kami nagsusulong na maging legal ang marijuana, ang isinusulong ng aming grupo, ang Philippines Moms for Medical Marijuana at Philippine Cannabis Compassion Society, ay magkaroon ng safe and legal access for medical marijuana ang mga may sakit na tao," she said in an interview on "News+" on ABS-CBN Sports + Action.

Cunan said that her child has a partial seizure disorder, an illness which synthetic drugs can’t cure.

"Lahat po ng mga kamag-anak namin, saksi sa paghihirap namin na palagi pa rin pong nagsi-seizure ang anak namin even with two medications. So dahil po dito delayed na delayed po ang anak ko, di po nakakalakad, di po siya nakakasalita. Palagi ko po siyang isinusugod [sa ospital] na walang malay, parang patay, nakatulala," she said. - with a report from Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBNNews.com