Last Saturday, my group mates and I reported about the Cannabis industry. The setting was in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. I actually had so much interest in our report that I spent the first three days researching about marijuana, its effects, its benefits and other uses. I will not lie, I have heard a lot about it. Since college days, students taking drugs were rampant. It was used after classes when going to drinking sessions. In UP I had classmates who would use it in between classes and during parties of organizations. It was common among youngsters to be curious about this drug because they had easy access to suppliers and also there were no random drug tests in UP so students had no fear of getting caught and getting kicked out.
Out of my 6 years in college, I have never heard of any marijuana users who had gone astray of their studies. They all continued to graduate and became employees and great professionals. Still the problem remains, this drug is considered illegal. Since Rodrigo Duterte’s government concentrated on drug war, I believe that the use of illegal drugs already fluctuated. I do not think that it is as rampant as before but I do think there are still those brave persons who see defying rules as an adventure.
Through my research, I have learned that THC is the substance in marijuana that gives the feeling of high to the marijuana smokers. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the whole term for THC. It is the substance that has a psychoactive effect. Contrary to normal belief, that there is no overdose of marijuana, overdose is actually represented by decreased motor coordination and slurred speech, though of course these are temporary. So what is so bad about marijuana? Some studies say that it can help with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and even cancer. To the users, they say that smoking marijuana has a happy effect and would keep them laughing for hours. However to the users who have a tendency of substance abuse, marijuana is a gateway drug for them to explore other stronger drugs and that is what’s wrong about legalizing marijuana.
Even so, I also see the benefits of a country that has legalized cannabis. If a country legalizes the use of this drug just like legalizing gambling, then they would have as much control as they have on other agricultural crops. They would be able to put taxes. They would also have control over the farming conditions of the plant. Lastly the government would be able to control distribution of marijuana only to users who are supposed to use this drug.
I don’t think that marijuana will be legalized any time soon in our country where state and church is inseparable (as of the moment). The people are so conservative because of our dominant religion, Roman Catholicism. The church and government are interdependent in the Philippines such that the politicians use the teachings of the church in arguments and use these arguments to win the votes. Issues such as LGBTQ marriage, birth control and divorce have been very dependent on the teachings of the Bible. I already know what would be the argument of the church if ever someone proposes legalization of marijuana in the Philippines: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (Corinthians 6:19-20) and also “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (Peter 5:8).