So, last time we spoke about the possibility of Marlboro going green, as in Cannabis-green. (Quick update: They did, actually) and how them going green would spell disaster for their products in the Philippines, where their president has declared war on drugs. This policy is so strictly enforced that many suspects have been murdered prior to trial and many other executed. So naturally, we thought that Altria, the parent company of Marlboro would have a hard time pushing "Marlboro Greens" over there and in fact might even get the whole brand banned due to association with Marijuana, which is technically a drug. But in an uncanny turn of events, a spokesperson said that Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte was open to legalizing medical Cannabis in the Philippines.
Now, ignoring the fact that this decision was only days after Altria's announcement on their Cannabis ventures. There IS some serious foreshadowing for this, and you won't believe what it is: Turns out that Duterte, Mr. Merciless War On Drugs actually said once in an interview:
It’s a killing activity . . . I’m not affected that much because I use marijuana to stay awake.
You're god damn right it's a killing activity. There's just so much freaking killing! Like, literally. That's all there is. Killing. Maybe some murder in there, too. A bit of assassination... ok, you get the point. His war on drugs has killed over 27,000 people in the Philippines and the fact that he's actually doing drugs himself has gotten some really harsh criticism by the media and the public and I don't blame them. It just sounds hypocritical. After the backlash, Duterte and his spokesperson immediately called this comment "A joke" but I mean, if it really is a joke, given the grim nature of his war on drugs, it was just tasteless and wrong.
But despite the drug prohibition laws in the Philippines, Duterte has been quite open to medical use, stating, in 2016 that:
Medicinal marijuana—yes, because it is really an ingredient of medicine now. There are medicines right now being developed or already in the market that contain marijuana as a component.
Which is a step. Perhaps recreational might be a luxury that we can maybe go without, I mean, sure, would be nice, but health you really can't do without.
No steps have been taken on Duterte's part to get the ball rolling -yet- but the fact that it's in consideration, it's already a pretty huge step, given the situation.
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