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Weed wins. Cheech and Chong would be proud. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, PDEA, recently made a startling announcement. Pot is now the number one drug in the Philippines. Shabu (meth) has fallen to the number two spot. Yes, potheads, ”Maryjane” has become the drug of choice for most illegal drug users in the country.

Reefer Madness

Wilkins Villanueva is PDEA‘s Director-General. The Director-General bases his findings regarding pot on two things:

  1. The massive volume of seizures of cannabis in 2021.
  2. Survey results of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) in 2019.

In fact, the DDB survey revealed that marijuana was the most abused drug with 57 percent. Shabu followed at 35 percent.

Ecstasy Expansion

Villanueva also revealed that the smuggling of Ecstasy has expanded in the last three years. While 13,000 tablets were smuggled in 2019 more than 74,000 were smuggled in 2021. That’s a massive increase of about 469.23 percent.

Marijuana is Illegal in the Philippines

While getting high on dope might be legal in some parts of the States or in some countries, that is NOT the case in the Philippines.

According to Wikipedia, cannabis has been illegal in the Philippines since 1972. Republic Act No. 6425, or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, was the law that made pot illegal.

RA6425 classified marijuana as a prohibited drug. The law detailed out punishments for the importation, sale, manufacture, cultivation, possession, and use of the drug, as well as possession of any drug-related paraphernalia.

RA6425 also created the Dangerous Drugs Board, DDB, giving it jurisdiction over drug-related cases.

In 2002, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 was signed, repealing RA6425. RA9165 also enabled the creation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, PDEA. The PDEA also handles the implementation and enforcement of policies and strategies made by the Dangerous Drugs Board.

Under the current law, the importation, sale, maintenance of a den, dive or resort, manufacture, use, and cultivation of marijuana and marijuana-related products shall be met with life imprisonment and a fine.

Cannabis remains widely illegal including for medical use. However, individuals with a serious or terminal illness may apply for a special permit from the Food and Drugs Authority for drugs unregistered in the Philippines including those containing cannabis.

Since the issuance of permits began in 1992, only one application has been filed to seek consent to use cannabis oil as of December 2018.

When I arrived in the Philippines in January 2000 to marry my loving Filipina fiancee, here’s what was handed to all the passengers before landing in Manila.

Graphic courtesy of Wikiwand

(However, there is no longer a death penalty in the Philippines.)

Let’s take a look at some graphics provided by the PDEA:

In full disclosure, I have never used marijuana, shabu, or Ecstasy in any form. Moreover, I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my entire life. While my late Father and two brothers were smokers, I never had the desire to put a cancer stick to my lips. Sadly, along with my Dad, both of my younger brothers have passed away. Smoking played a major part in my Dad and middle brother’s deaths.

PDEA Director Wilkins Villanueva can be seen in the photo above. The actress seated next to him is Phoebe Walker. Ms. Walker appeared in a film, “The Buy-Bust Queen.” Here’s a trailer from that film courtesy of YouTube.

Remember, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

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