Resurgence of marijuana plantations in Benguet unlikely

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet  – Governor Crescencio C. Pacalso underscored there will be no resurgence of marijuana plantations in the remote villages of the province following the transfer of the government’s aggressive anti-drug campaign from the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the impending enactment of the medical marijuana measure.

The local chief executive pointed out that the propagation of marijuana for medical purposes will be limited and highly restricted and regulated by concerned government agencies. It would be improbable for the resurgence of marijuana plantations because the PDEA closely monitors drug suspects and former marijuana plantation sites in the province to abate the cultivation of the illegal hemp in the rural areas of the province.

Benguet has been previously known as the major source of marijuana circulated in the different parts of the country considering that hemp thrives well with the prevailing weather condition of the province and the remoteness of the plantation sites.

Pacalso expressed support to the enactment of the medical marijuana law, provided the necessary safety nets will be explicitly provided in the measure to guarantee the limited production area and the processing of the illegal hemp to become prescription drugs to cure patients suffering from life-threatening diseases.

Earlier, PDEA officials aired their support to the enactment of the medical marijuana law purposely to help cure dreaded illnesses contracted by people but its prescription should be restricted and that the production areas should be limited and confined to a certain area to prevent the same from being abused.

However, doctors seem to have conflicting opinions relative to the potency of marijuana to cure life-threatening illnesses considering there are physicians who claim that the type of marijuana being produced in the country is not actually the medicinal type while other doctors believe that there is a need to prescribe marijuana to patients suffering from the illnesses such as terminal cancer, among others, because some studies show marijuana taken as regular medication can ease certain illnesses.

Pacalso said that once the law will be enacted for the government to open applications for permits to propagate marijuana, he will support former marijuana cultivators in applying for their permits considering that through the years of being involved in the trade they have mastered the art of producing the plant.

The governor explained that the enactment of the medical marijuana law will not affect the province’s lucrative industry because there will be no mass conversion of vegetable farms to marijuana plantation areas considering that those who will be allowed to produce and cultivate marijuana will be limited.

He claimed former marijuana cultivators were able to learn the appropriate technique to make the marijuana plants blooming within 3 to 4 months compared to the supposed 6 to 8 months propagation period, thus, there will substantial supply of medical marijuana for restricted medical use once the law will be passed.

By HENT

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