SONGWRITER/SINGER Joey Ayala, a medical cannabis or marijuana use advocate said that the hemp is a great muscle relaxant.

His father was sort of “supportive” of Ayala’s use of the plant in the 70’s when he was in high school. ”Kung gagamit ka niyan, dito ka lang sa bahay. Kung sa labas, baka antukin ka, baka mahilo ka at masagasaan ka,” Ayala quoted his father as telling him. Because of his father’s “openness,” to accept the plant’s use, there was no more mystery, so he did not become an addict as a common notion now.

Regarding the present law’s avoidance of the use of medical cannabis, Ayala said the more they try to stop people from using it, the more it becomes a mystery to them or curious about it.

It has been over a decade when advocates and medical cannabis supporters have been pushing for the legalization of its use as medicines. “It is more important to de-mystify and allow people to form their own opinions, to make their own control rather than to make external controls,” Ayala explained in support of the move to legalize marijuana use as medicines for epilepsy, chronic pain, nausea and vomiting and multiple sclerosis, age wasting syndrome, among other ailments.

Ayala was one of the panelists in this week’s Media Health Forum of Bauertek Corporation with Dr. Richard Nixon Gomez as its general manager. Other regular panelist was Dr. Gem Marq Mutia, a specialist in adult medicine and founder of Philippine Cannabinoid Medicine, who said that the use of marijuana as medicine started centuries ago. “Wala ng mas tradisyonal pa sa marijuana” he said and when it comes to mainstream medicines or western conventional medicines, the plant has also undergone clinical trials and proven to be effective.

It is disheartening to note however, that only one patient was granted a compassionate special permit to buy the imported marijuana oil but nobody has availed yet because of additional processes to purchase the medicine.

Mutia mentioned national hero Dr. Jose Rizal who was able to buy marijuana medicine from a pharmacy in 1879.

Ayala said he prefers to use marijuana if he’s looking for “something relaxing.” Its use is not as bad as soft drinks, alcohol, coffee, he said.

Gomez said that anxiety and depression can also be cured by marijuana medicine. “Medical cannabis immediately matutulungan ka sa anxiety, depression,” he said rather than waiting for doctors for appointment and who charged exorbitant fees.

Mutia meanwhile explained that our body has endo cannabinoid system and known as stress-management professionals.

Ayala on the other hand, explained that he doesn’t use marijuana for his performance but as muscle relaxant. He is well known for his style of music that combines the sounds of Filipino ethnic instruments with modern pop music.

Bauertek Corporation produces and manufactures pharmaceuticals, supplements and cosmetics. (Nelson Santos)