This study is an offshoot of the alternative development plan of the Dangerous Drugs Board. Efforts to conduct an assessment study on marijuana was undertaken to determine the reasons for its cultivation and come up with sustainable livelihood alternatives for those who engaged in such illicit activity.
This was conducted in selected areas in three (3) regions representing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. These are the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Region 7, and Region 10. Respondents were limited to inmates confined in city/municipality or provincial jails in selected regions charged for violation of Section 16 of R.A. 9165 and key informants from government agencies in the studied areas like the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, local government officials such as mayors, governors, local police and some residents (key informants) from barangays where marijuana cultivation sites were reported to exist.
The primary reason for the continued marijuana cultivation in the studied areas, despite the intensive eradication activities is poverty. It is recommended that the identified alternative livelihood in the study areas be given attention and consideration of the DDB Alternative Development Committee.
Based on the findings of the study, marijuana cultivation sites were identified to be in the far flung mountain barangays, hence, advocacy campaign against marijuana cultivation should be intensified especially in these areas. It is recommended that these activities be integrated in the barangay meetings, farmers association or cooperative assemblies, and in the local peace and order council meetings.
Addressing the marijuana cultivation problem involve not only the national government but the local government as well, hence, local government units in the identified regions with marijuana cultivation should be encouraged to allocate portion of their countryside development funds to alternative development programs. These include farming of alternative crops and engaging in livelihood programs; support to advocacy programs, conduct of eradication activities, and, orientations and trainings for local police and barangay officials assigned in the peace and order councils in the identified barangays.