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COUN. TONY ESPIRITUCities of Bacolod and Valenzuela recently adopted separate resolutions against legalization of marijuana (cannabis). Both city councils agreed that marijuana legalization will run counter to the state policy of safeguarding the well being of the citizenry, particularly the youth.

In their resolutions, they expressed their disapproval of the move to legalize the use of marijuana in the country because there is no conclusive medical research that shows positive or healthy effect on individuals using the drug.

Hon. Rodolfo Albano III, representative of 1st District of Isabela, filed last May 26, 2014, House Bill 4477 or the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Bill which sought to legalize and regulate the medical use of cannabis in compliance with government policy to balance its national drug control program and the regulated use of dangerous drugs for treatment and medication of patients with debilitating medical conditions.

According to the bill, research conducted by the US National Institute of Medicine confirmed the beneficial and therapeutic uses of cannabis in 1999.

Many citizens reacted to the passage of the aforesaid bill including the local governments of Bacolod and Valenzuela, and this led them to adopt separate city resolutions condemning the legalization of marijuana in the Philippines.

In their resolutions, the city government of Bacolod pointed out that states in US legalizing marijuana, experienced increase in cases of youth possessing and using the drug and has now realized the adverse effects on its youth, thus they have the intention to withdraw or revoke the law providing for marijuana legalization. The city resolution of Bacolod also cited the fact that the state of Washington suffered from an increase in transport related accidents due to drivers using marijuana.

Meanwhile, the Valenzuela City government argued that the Philippines is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Narcotic Drugs which cites marijuana as one of the most dangerous drugs in the world.

The Valenzuela resolution further argued that even the Philippine Medical Association and the Philippine College of Addiction Medicine are convinced that more in-depth scientific or medical studies are needed to prove the health benefits of marijuana before it can be legalized and used as an alternative medicine.