The recent arrest of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla’s son for alleged illegal importation and possession of ‘Kush’ a potent derivative from the plant cannabis sativa or marijuana highlights a disturbing trend regarding the importation into the country of the plant which, while illegal and prohibited in the Philippines is already considered legal in other key countries around the globe.

This actually makes it easier for the exporter, coming from a country where marijuana is legal, both in medicinal and recreational use, to accumulate and process the drug and send it to another country where it is illegal (e.g. Philippines), where it is received by the importer. The fact of the matter is the legalization of marijuana in some key countries in the world has made the cannabis plant a new source of legitimate income for many business entrepreneurs.

The country of Thailand for one which recently legalized marijuana in its jurisdiction has come to a
determination that its own government can earn money by regulating the cultivation and production of the plant. If these countries, the US and Thailand for instance, are now in the business of planting, cultivating, and ultimately selling marijuana for profit, what will prevent its citizens from trying to expand their business by making illegal exportations of the plant and its derivatives to countries where it is still prohibited?

And of course possibly enticed by the opportunity to cash in on the sale of high end marijuana in a country where it is prohibited an enterprising individual might just attempt to order a powerful variety of the illegal drug and pray for the success of its importation, as may have happened in the case of the son of Justice Secretary Remulla. But the more troublesome aspect of the whole thing is the fact that because of the
legalization of the cannabis plant in what some say is an increasing number of countries, the opportunity for its sale and distribution into other countries where it is still considered prohibitory has increased

And for the people of these countries which have relaxed its drug laws in the case of marijuana, they see a
new market where they can profit and sometimes it would not matter to them if they sell marijuana products or export them even to countries where it is still deemed an illegal drug. For these people it is now a matter of business and economics and how much and how often they can get away with it.

Just like the previous and already many incidents of visitors and travelers to the Cordilleras who have been caught at checkpoints put up by the authorities and found to be in possession of kilos of marijuana, there seems to be this enticing allure to try and make money from selling this so called ‘green gold’, and the police be damned. Unfortunately for this visitors it will only be later, when they are already in the custody of the authorities, where they learn that the penalty of transporting several kilos of marijuana with the obvious intention of selling it is life imprisonment and unbailable.

This is the predicament that confronts not only the son of Justice Secretary Remulla but society as whole as it must now realize that more and more people, particularly the younger generation, are getting more
tempted to indulge in the illegal drug marijuana, not only to use it but also to try and sell it, simply because they know that for some countries especially the more developed ones the taboo attached to the plant has been discarded.

It would not be beyond the realm of possibility that in the near future, some enterprising individuals in Thailand might just accept exportation orders for cannabis and its derivatives from some also enterprising
individuals living in a country where the plant is deemed illegal. Perhaps it is time to take a whole of nation approach in dealing with the problem of cannabis sativa or marijuana and not simply lump it with other
illegal drugs such as methampethamine Hydrochloride or ‘Shabu’, considering that other countries
have already come up with more reasonable and practical measures in dealing with the plant.

Amianan Balita Ngayon