Gov backs medical marijuana bill

TABUK CITY, Kalinga: Gov. James Edduba expressed his support for the immediate passage of the medical marijuana measure pending in both chambers of Congress.

According to the governor, this will help deter the proliferation of the illegal hemp in the hinterlands of the Cordillera mountains, especially in Benguet and Kalinga.

However, he pointed out that lawmakers must ensure that the provisions for the medical marijuana measure should be favorable to the farmers.

The governor pointed out that the government should not allow multinational companies to control the production of medicinal marijuana because it will defeat the purpose of curbing the illegal cultivation of marijuana in the region.

“Once the government will allow multinational corporations to control the production and manufacturing of medicinal marijuana, which will be to the detriment of farmers, then the illegal cultivation of the hemp will continue and will remain a problem among government agencies and local governments,” Edduba said.

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He stressed that the medicinal marijuana law should be pro-farmers.

The remote towns of Tinglayan in Kalinga; Bakun, Kibungan and Kapangan in Benguet; and other far flung villages in Ilocos Sur and La Union remain as major producers of high-grade marijuana being circulated in the different parts of the country.

The medical marijuana bill had been repeatedly filed in both chambers of Congress in the past but failed to hurdle the committee and plenary levels because of the various issues and concerns raised against marijuana.

According to Edduba, the proposed medicinal marijuana law must advance the greater interest of the farmers so that they will be convinced to support the same and abandon the illegal cultivation of marijuana in the hinterlands and embrace better opportunities for them to decently earn income to sustain the living condition of their families.

Earlier, police operatives and anti-narcotics agents identified the Cordillera as the primary producer of high-grade marijuana being circulated in the different parts of the country.

Edduba said that it is high time that the image of Cordillera being the source of high-grade marijuana be removed from the consciousness of the public.

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