Reclassify Marijuana, as NOT a Dangerous Drug

Reclassify Marijuana, as NOT a Dangerous Drug.

Greetings,

I just signed the following petition addressed to: Honorable ANTONIO “BEBOT” VILLAR, JR. Chairman, Dangerous Drugs Board.

—————-
Reclassify Marijuana, as NOT a Dangerous Drug.

Section 93 of REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9165, otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002” states that:

“Reclassification, Addition or Removal of Any Drug from the List of Dangerous Drugs. – The Board shall have the power to reclassify, add to or remove from the list of dangerous drugs. Proceedings to reclassify, add, or remove a drug or other substance may be initiated by the PDEA, the DOH, or by petition from any interested party, including the manufacturer of a drug, a medical society or association, a pharmacy association, a public interest group concerned with drug abuse, a national or local government agency, or an individual citizen. When a petition is received by the Board, it shall immediately begin its own investigation of the drug. The PDEA also may begin an investigation of a drug at any time based upon the information received from law enforcement laboratories, national and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies, or other sources of information.”

Based on the above Republic Act, we, the people of the Republic of the Philippines, would like to petition for the reclassification and decriminalization of Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Ruderalis, and derivative products of the said natural plant species. Herein, we will present you with the basic facts and sources of information from which you can then launch a thorough investigation into Cannabis’ many uses such as MEDICINE, PAPER, FUEL, FIBER, FOOD, and HOUSING.

First and foremost, Cannabis cannot be classified under the list of DANGEROUS drugs, as it poses no health threat to its users. The World Health Organization states that Tobacco kills nearly 6,000,000 people a year[1] and Alcohol results in 2,500,000 deaths each year. [2] Cannabis, on the other hand, has NO DIRECT RECORDED DEATHS attributed to it. If anything, the two prior drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol, should be topping your Dangerous Drugs list, as they kill more people per annum than all the dangerous drugs on your list – COMBINED.

Secondly, Cannabis IS MEDICINE, and has been for the past few thousand years. Currently, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide use Cannabis to relieve the symptoms of debilitating diseases. A 2002 review of medical literature by Franjo Grotenhermen states that medical cannabis has established effects in the treatment of nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, unintentional weight loss, insomnia, and lack of appetite. Other “relatively well-confirmed” effects were in the treatment of “spasticity, painful conditions, especially neurogenic pain, movement disorders, asthma, and glaucoma”.

Preliminary findings indicate that cannabis-based drugs could prove useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, fibromyalgia, and related conditions.
Medical cannabis has also been found to relieve certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries by exhibiting antispasmodic and muscle-relaxant properties as well as stimulating appetite.

Other studies state that cannabis or cannabinoids may be useful in treating alcohol abuse, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, colorectal cancer, HIV-Associated Sensory Neuropathy depression, dystonia, epilepsy, digestive diseases, gliomas, hepatitis C, Huntington’s disease, leukemia, skin tumors, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Parkinson’s disease, pruritus, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psoriasis, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, and anorexia nervosa.

A study done by Craig Reinarman surveyed among why people in California used cannabis and it found many reasons why people had used cannabis. It was used to relieve pain, muscle spasms, headaches, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, depression, cramps, panic attacks, diarrhea, and itching. Others used cannabis to improve sleep, relaxation, appetite, concentration or focus, and energy. Some patients used it to prevent medication side effects, anger, involuntary movements, and seizures, while others used it as a substitute for other prescription medications and alcohol. [3]

Even the United States National Cancer Institute acknowledges Cannabis’ Antitumor, Appetite Stimulation, and Analgesic effects on its webpage. [4]

Aside from this, Harvard University published a study that concluded that the active ingredient in Cannabis cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread. [5]

Also, the American Medical Association cites Cannabis’ patient treatment and healing abilities in their “Report 3 of the Council on Science and Public Health “, and thus called for the rescheduling of the said drug. [6]

More information about Cannabis and how it may be used as a treatment for people with serious medical conditions can be found in this Medical Cannabis brochure:

http://www.safeaccessnow.org/downloads/cancer_brochure.pdf

Thirdly, one of the biggest positive impacts that the rescheduling of Cannabis would produce is the reintegration of hemp into our society, and more importantly in current times, our economy. Hemp is a plant that is grown for industrial use only; in fact, hemp contains less that 1% THC and causes no “high” when smoked.

From an INDUSTRIAL standpoint, hemp provides many advantages over a great deal of current resources that the Philippines utilizes. The most common use for hemp is in the production of textile based products. Hemp fibers are considerably strong so that makes it ideal for the production of many products like PAPER, FABRIC, and ROPE. Hemp produces a higher yield per acre than cotton and has a growing cycle of only 100 days instead of 160. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can produce four times as much paper from a hectare of Cannabis than a hectare of trees. Imagine all the forests we could save!

But perhaps the most important attribute of hemp is its ability to produce a substantial amount of CELLULOSE. Cellulose is a compound that, in more recent years, has been converted into a BIOFUEL called cellulostic ethanol. This biofuel can power everything that our fossil fuels currently does and is being produced most commonly in the form of “energy crops;” mostly corn and cotton. Hemp holds an advantage though, because it yields four times the amount of cellulose you can get from a corn stalk, plus it is carbon-negative, meaning it has already captured enough carbon during growth, in a process called carbon sequestration, to make up for the carbon that it releases when burned. In layman’s terms, it is ECO FRIENDLY.

Once rescheduled, Cannabis can also be used as FOOD. Technically a nut, hemp seed typically contains over 30% oil and about 25% protein, with considerable amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Hemp seed oil is over 80% in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and is an exceptionally rich source of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) linoleic acid (18:2 omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3 omega-3). The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (n6/n3) in hemp seed oil is normally between 2:1 and 3:1, which is considered to be optimal for human health. In addition, the biological metabolites of the two EFAs, gamma-linolenic acid (18:3 omega-6; ‘GLA’) and stearidonic acid (18:4 omega-3; ‘SDA’), are also present in hemp seed oil. The two main proteins in hemp seed are edestin and albumin. Both of these high-quality storage proteins are easily digested and contain nutritionally significant amounts of all essential amino acids. In addition, hemp seed has exceptionally high levels of the amino acid arginine. [7]
What does this mean? This means that Cannabis seeds’ amino acid profile is close to “complete” when compared to more common sources of proteins such as meat, milk, eggs and soy. The proportions of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid in one tablespoon (15 ml) per day of hemp oil easily provides human daily requirements for EFAs.

Aside from the above, Cannabis can be used as a material to make HOUSES.
Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp hurds (shives) and lime (possibly including natural hydraulic lime, sand, pozzolans or cement) used as a material for construction and insulation. It is marketed under names like Hemcrete, Canobiote, Canosmose, and Isochanvre. Hempcrete is easier to work than traditional lime mixes and acts as an insulator and moisture regulator. It lacks the brittleness of concrete and consequently does not need expansion joints.

Honorable Villar, Cannabis laws, as they are now, cost tax payers millions of pesos a year. The taxpayers have to pay for every individual that is sent to prison for possession of Cannabis and nothing more. It’s time to face the facts — most Cannabis users are peaceful, well adjusted members of society. Their “crime” is nothing more than possessing and ingesting or smoking dried flowers from a non-toxic plant. The effects of their “crime” are usually nothing more than being hungry, laughing, enjoying chit-chat with friends, and watching TV. This is a VICTIMLESS crime, which should not be punished by the state. A democratic government has no right to tell its citizens — its employers — what they can or cannot ingest, eat, smoke, or drink. And a democratic government has no right to withhold a miracle plant from its citizens. Especially not one that can be used to the advantage of the citizens in creating more jobs, upping tourism, healing the sick, and helping the environment.

If Cannabis is not rescheduled, then we the people must ask for the basis of its illegality. We must be satisfied with facts, statistics, solid reasoning, and casualties. The burden of proof falls on the government’s hands.

1. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/index.html
2. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs349/en/index.html
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis
4. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4
5. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm
6. http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/csaph/csaph-report3-i09.pdf
7. http://naihc.org/hemp_information/hemp_facts.html
8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp

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One Response to “Reclassify Marijuana, as NOT a Dangerous Drug”

  1. spoken like a true pothead. I used to smoke marijuana myself. In fact, I enjoyed it a lot. But i think it interferes with normal life functions, like working – something that we all need to do to survive. I mean, how can you work if you’re stoned? All you would want to do is watch TV and eat, and laugh and play the guitar. I think smoking pot for entertainment and as a past-time is ok. But to make a part of one’s daily existence, something as regular as drinking coffee, for example, is counter-productive.

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