The Philippines is an archipelago, comprising 7,641 islands. It’s a country that’s filled with amazing sceneries, hospitable people, and unique cuisines. Plenty of tourists visit the country for its beaches, and there’s nothing better than a toke while watching the sunset. But weed isn’t legal in the Philippines, and you could end up spending your life in jail far away from your home.
The legalization of marijuana for recreational use may not happen soon, as the government itself heavily opposes getting high (even though the president admits his drug abuse).
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Weed Laws in the Philippines
Currently, the Philippines is undergoing a “war on drugs” campaign, which has claimed the lives of more than ten-thousand people. Due to this, the majority of the population is afraid to be tagged as a “drug user”. Weed isn’t legal, and is classified as a Schedule I drug in the Philippines.
This classification states that a fine of P500,000 to P10,000,000 ($10,000 to $200,000 USD approx) is imposed if you possess more than 10 grams of hash and 500 grams of bud. As for jail time, that’s anywhere between life in prison, to the death sentence.
The fine and sentence are reduced to P400,000 to P500,000 ($8,000 to $10,000 USD approx) and 20 years to life if you possess between 5 to 10 grams of hash or 300 to 500 grams of weed.
It reduces again to a fine of P300,000 to P400,000 ($6,000 to $8,000 USD approx) and 12 to 20 years if you possess less than 5 grams of hash and less than 300 grams of cannabis.
Marijuana in India
The fines and penalties for using marijuana are different. If a person is caught using weed and if they test positive, then they are sent to a government rehabilitation center for 6 months (with some caveats). If they are caught again, they may be sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison, with a fine of P50,000 to P200,000 ($1,000 to $4,000 USD approx).
There are even penalties for carrying weed-related paraphernalia. Just having a pipe on you can cost you 6 months to 4 years in prison, with a fine of up to P50,000 ($1,000 USD approx).
Although, if you have a good lawyer and deep pockets, you may not have to worry about spending time in a foreign jail.
Exclusions from the Law
The Food and Drug Authority allows the compassionate use of cannabis to those with serious diseases or terminal illnesses. The law states that the government will not prevent people with legitimate needs from having the right medication. This includes the use of marijuana for medical illnesses. The issuance of permits started in 1992, and to date, only one person has been approved to use cannabis oil for medical purposes in the country. This is despite the fact that the FDA has received 50 applications per month on average.
Petition for the Legalization of Medical Marijuana
Back in 2014, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act was filed to the Philippine Congress, which petitions the legalization of medical marijuana as a means of a cheaper alternative to expensive medicine. The bill was met with criticism from senators and was rejected.
After a historic vote from the United Nations classifying marijuana as a medicine, drugs containing CBD are now legal in the Philippines. Products containing more than 0.1 percent THC are still classified as Schedule I, however.
This enables products with CBD to be used by the general populace. While this current legislation falls short of allowing patients access to THC, it’s a good start. There is still much debate on the use of THC for medical purposes, as the government believes that it will proliferate illegal recreational use.
Recreational Use of Weed in the Philippines
Although weed has been illegal in the Philippines since 1972, it’s still the second most used “dangerous” drug in the Philippines, behind methamphetamine.
A study shows that the country has some of the cheapest weed in the world, with a gram of weed (probably local weed) costing only around $5. Although take this with a heavy grain of salt. Cheap weed in the Philippines exists and local weed is pretty great if you get a decent source, although a gram of high or exotic strains might cost you $30.
Overall, the Philippines has cheap local weed, but if you’re looking for some good Californian nuggets, be ready for a ridiculous price tag.
Comparing the Philippines to other South-East Asian countries, the chances of legal weed appearing there first are slim to none. At the moment, possessing or using cannabis in the Philippines is a very bad idea.
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