Kimmi is the founder for Philippine Mom for Medical Marijuana. Yes, just call her Kimmi – no last name, just like Cher, Madonna and Bono. She is now the emerging face of medical marijuana in the Philippines, an initiative being pushed on a very conservative cultural landscape.
We may try to guess what compelled Kimmi to start her advocacy for medical marijuana. Maybe she has a relative stricken with an illness or perhaps she herself had experimented with medical weed. But if you ask Kimmi, only one word summarizes her work: compassion.
Kimmi established the Philippine chapter of Moms for Marijuana in 2013, She was motivated by the sad plight of patients who have exhausted all conventional means to ease their chronic pain and illnesses. Since medical marijuana has already been made legal in more than 20 states in the US and several countries worldwide, it might be an opportune time to bring to do the same in the Philippines.
Legal and medical marijuana is not founded on the whims of potheads. The legalization of medical marijuana has storied past that has shaken the conventional belief of society. There are numerous researches and valid case studies pointing to the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating specific medical conditions. Legal luminaries had written decisions and intelligent opinions in support for it.
She explained her stand in her published interview in a website called Pacifiqa, “We have the endocannabinoid system in our body and we have cannabinoids present in cannabis. What it does is it corrects what needs to be corrected.”
According to Kimmi, there are studies done in UK that show cannabinoids can delay the growth of cancer cells. Although medical cannabis are usually taken in oil forms, some patients are allowed by their doctors to use inhalers or simply to smoke it like a cigarette.
Kimmi explained further, “To be honest, the patients right now are already taking a lot of risk because they’ve been on different medications and different dosages and yet they are still not satisfied with their ‘progress’.”
Kimmi’s encounter with the Yutuc Family strengthened her resolve to be a medical marijuana advocate. Jun and Myca Yutuc had a one and a half year old daughter named Moon Jaden. Their daughter was in comatose due to a rare form of severe epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. With no conventional cure in sight, a doctor advised Moon’s parents to seek alternative treatment.
It was a CNN feature documentary on medical marijuana that gave the Yutucs the impetuous to seek medical marijuana for Moon. A young girl in Colorado name Charlotte Figi recovered from Draven Disease after taking supervised dosages of medical marijuana. Inspired by the CNN documentary, the Yutuc couple seek refuge in online forums to inquire about medical marijuana in the Philippines.
Their sad plight caught the attention of Kimmi and the Philippine Moms for Medical Marijuana (PMMM). All the Yutucs wanted was to ease the pain of their suffering daughter by giving her medical cannabis. PMMM took the lead for Moon Jaden’s cause and appealed to the Department of Health to grant the couple marijuana or at least interceded in their behalf. But there was no legal source of marijuana in the Philippines Sadly, Moon Jaden died while her parent and PMMM were excreting their effort to access medical marijuana.
To date, the Philippine Moms for Medical Marijuana remains in the forefront of the advocacy to legalize medical cannabis in their country. With dint of frustration, Kimmi commented, “ “Let’s face it – marijuana still remains a taboo in Philippine society. We still need to do a lot of information campaign to get the word out that cannabis is medicine, and if other states and countries have already legalized it for recreational use, then it’s obvious that we’re left behind in terms of research and acceptance.”
Unfortunately, the parent organization of PMMM, Moms for Marijuana International (MMMI) had undergone internal factions and disputes. To avoid the backlash, Kimmi declared autonomy from MMMI and re-established her organization. PMMM built an alliance with Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (PORMAL), 420Philippines and the Philippine Cannabis Compassion Society.
The global standoffs, ‘the pros and cons’ and debatable matter on legalizing medical marijuana are essentially the same. The United States even decriminalized marijuana in some states despite being one of the most hard-nosed countries who prohibited it several decades ago.
If medical marijuana can be justified in most part of the world, what argument can those who oppose it in the Philippines use to justify their stand. The Philippine Moms for Marijuana and its allied organizations are taking the right direction in their advocacy to legalize marijuana for medical use in their country.