Arroyo says medical marijuana works for her

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 15) — House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Tuesday vouched for the effectiveness of medical marijuana, saying it relieves her neck pain whenever she is in a country where it is legal.

"I really believe in medical cannabis. As you know I have my problem here (cervical spine) and when I'm in a country that allows it, I put a pain patch but here in the Philippines I cannot do it," Arroyo told reporters in Quezon City.

The former President has multilevel cervical spondylosis, an aging-associated condition characterized by neck pain. She is one of the authors of House Bill 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Bill, which seeks to legalize the use of marijuana or cannabis for medical purposes.

"I authored that bill because I believe that it can help me and many other people but there was a lot of objection to the bill from the House and from the Senate," Arroyo said. "That's why we are just letting the legislative process take its course."

The bill is pending at the House of Representatives even as some of its authors are hoping it will be passed before the end of the 17th Congress this year.

READ: Solon: Medical marijuana bill has safeguards to prevent abuse

Malacañang earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte favors the use of medical marijuana and will support any legislative measure consistent with his stand.

Medical marijuana is legal in some countries including Uruguay, Canada, Thailand, Germany, Australia, Ireland, and some states in the U.S.. It is also allowed in Britain with prescription.