Rafael Rosell keeps up fight for legalization of medicinal marijuana

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Rafael Rosell laments that some of the biggest critics of medicinal marijuana are close-minded doctors: "If you're a doctor and you haven't studied real medicine—plant medicine, God's medicine, nature's gift—then don't talk against it na lang. Don't ruin it for people who are trying to make something legal when you have no clue what you're talking about."


Vocal si Rafael Rosell sa benefits ng medicinal marijuana para sa ilang uri ng sakit.

Sa presscon ng Impostora (kunsaan gumaganap siya bilang si Homer) noong Lunes, June 5, sa 17th floor ng GMA Network Center, hiningan namin ang Kapuso actor ng opinyon tungkol dito.

Panimula niyang pahayag, “I still have the same facts that I have about the plant ever since.

“More people have died in casinos than direct death from the overdose of it, because you can’t overdose from it.

“The only way you could die from marijuana is if someone throws one kilo and hits you in the head and graze your skull!”

PUSHING FOR LEGALIZATION OF MEDICINAL MARIJUANA. Matibay pa rin daw ang paniniwala ni Rafael sa kabutihang naidudulot ng medicinal marijuana.

Sa katunayan, nagkuwento siyt tungkol sa kanyang pagsuporta sa isang pro-medical marijuana advocacy group.

Patuloy niya, “I was actually part of creating, a part of influencing the... yung grupo, PCCS, Philippine Compassionate Cannabis Society.

“It started as Moms for Marijuana, but it sounded so... you know...

"It sounded so vulgar na parang, Moms for Marijuana, so they changed it to PCCS.

“Moms for Marijuna, because they all needed to cure their child na may epilepsy, na may autism, so they called themselves Moms for Marijuana.

“And then they changed the name to PCCS, Philippine Compassionate Cannabis Society.

“It sounds more professional, and I joined that group when it started.

“And after a while, lumaki kami nang lumaki, and then nakipag-meeting kami kay [Department of Health] Secretary [Paulyn Jean] Ubial.

“Nakipag-meeting kami sa PDEA, Dangerous Drugs Board, DepEd, para i-inform sila tungkol sa halaman na ito.

“Pumasa siya sa first hearing kasi walang masyadong nag-oppose.

“Sa second hearing, I think na-entice yung society dahil may posibilidad daw na maging legal.

“'Tapos, biglang ngayon out-of-the-blue, they just cut it and then indefinite yung hold.

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“Naiintindihan ko naman iyon, e.

“Dahil if this becomes legalized in the far future, sabihin na nating naging legal na siya for medicinal purposes, tapos naging illegal na maging recreational tulad sa U.S., ang daming kumpanyang babagsak  diyan.

“Number one diyan yung yosi, number two pharmaceutical, dahil puwede mong patubuin 'yan sa bahay mo na mas mura pa.

“Yung sa yosi, pipiliin mo ba yung nakakapatay o pipiliin mo yung gamot, di ba?

“So siyempre bagsak agad yun.

“So when it comes to recreational purposes we will see a near future for marijuana or cannabis.

“But for medicinal purposes I see it na it is an urgent need for the people to have it legalized, dahil sa totoo lang, ang daming nangangailangan ng gamot na talagang gumagana at walang side effects.”

OBSTACLES. Naniniwala si Rafael na sa ngayon ay medyo imposible talaga na maging legal ang marijuana.

Pero nagpapasalamat naman siya na kahit paano ay napakinggan ang kanilang proposal

“Yeah, yeah.

“We showed them documentaries, we showed them testimonies, we showed them files sa States, na gumaling yung mga tao.

“Dahil they keep saying… eto ang problema kasi dito, e.

“They keep saying there’s no medicinal values and we don’t have local research.

“So you can’t claim that it’s medicinal but if you don’t have local research, how can you claim it to be dangerous?

“So, if you can’t say the positive because of research from abroad, then please stop saying the negative about it, di ba?

“If you’re a doctor and you haven’t studied real medicine—plant medicine, God’s medicine, nature’s gift—then don’t talk against it na lang.

“Don’t ruin it for people who are trying to make something legal when you have no clue what you’re talking about.

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“May mga doctor kasi na nagsasabi na eto, ganyan, but they have no clue.

“Wala silang ni-research, wala silang binasang case studies, wala silang pinanood na documentary.”

Dahil sa mga hadlang na itong hinarap nila, ano na ang mangyayari sa hakbang ng PCCS?

Ano na ang maaaring maging desisyon ng mga nasa kongreso?

“The society is trying to ipaglaban pa rin.

“I think for now they threw it to the back muna, hindi siya priority dahil… I have no clue,” pag-amin niya.

ANTI-DRUG CAMPAIGN. Sa tingin ni Rafael, malaking hadlang din ba ang anti-drug campaign ni Duterte dito?

Lahad niya, “Yeah okay, may program si Duterte against drugs so I think from his position he can’t say na parang, ‘Iligal lahat ng droga, pero ito okay!’

“I think he has to illegalize everything first and then maybe reconsider what’s actual medicine and what’s actual drugs.

“Dahil di ba, if you think about it, alcohol is a drug pero when someone, for example when someone goes berserk and shoots up everyone in a casino no one considered that he might have been influenced by alcohol.

“But alcohol is the number one drug!

“Di ba? Masisira ang utak mo sa alcohol!

“Why isn’t alcohol considered a drug din and why it hasn’t been considered a dangerous drug knowing how many people abuse it and overdose on it.

“So it’s farfetched from now.

“For now, it’s farfetched.”

Pero hindi raw siya susuko.

“No, I’m not gonna give up.”

Ano ang hakbang nila ngayon?

Saad niya, “Wala muna.

“We need more spokespersons, we need to talk to more people in congress, intimately para hindi yung panghuhusga and the judgment comes from a whole group.

“If you can just invite them to watch a documentary about it, I’m sure it will ano...”

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THE ROOT OF ADDICTION. Pagpapatuloy pa ni Rafael tungkol sa war on drugs na programa…

“Para sa akin, going back decades, looking at the war on drugs sa U.S., seeing that it never worked, that is a war on drugs and it’s just increasing and increasing.

“So para sa akin kasi when it comes to drugs or any substance kung saan naaadik ang tao, I don’t think it’s a crime.

“It’s more a… sickness. It’s more a medical condition.

“Di ba, kung addicted ka sa isang droga, hindi ka criminal. Addicted ka to something that was available around you.

“So yung trato kasi dito, ‘O gumagamit ka ng drugs, you should be punished!’

“Pero sa Norway where I grew up, they get a person who use drugs, they know it’s a medical condition, they know it’s something psychological, so therefore they help the person get back into society.

“They help him find a job, how to find a place to stay, they help him fit in.

“Dahil when you fit in to your surroundings, the chances of searching for drugs would be very minimal.

“They did this test with lab rats kasi, they used the substance of cocaine, the rats kept searching for it when they’re in a bad environment.

“But when they put the rats in a clean environment, they never searched for it again.

“So para sa akin it’s more a psychological condition rather than a crime.

“Crime happens because nag-aagawan na ng profit, pagdating sa marijuana, it’s very difficult, thru studies ha, it’s very difficult to become violent because of it.

“The reason people are shooting each other if ever is because nakukuha ng ibang source yung kliyente nung ibang dealer.

“So nagkaka-conflict sila diyan.

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“But in any case, when it comes to drugs, people who abuse it, people who are addicted to it, I don’t believe they should be treated as criminals, but more like a psychological case study.

“I don’t believe in the war on drugs.

“They should be treated as patients, they should be educated, para sa akin the war on drugs never work, it’s not going to work and people are just gonna die because of a psychological or medical condition rather than an actual crime.

“You put someone who smokes one joint of marijuana he might be the nicest person in the world!

“Does he deserve to sit in there with rapists, pedophiles and murderers?

“No, I don’t think so, di ba? They’re not criminals.”


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