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Medical Marijuana Awareness: A Deep Perception among

Different Teachers

A research paper presented to the faculty of Senior High School of Sacred Heart
Academy, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the subjects
PRACTICAL RESEARCH 1
By:
Cuaderno, Espiritu, Lumanglas, Olivera, Ramos, Santiago, and Santos

STEM-A, SY 2017-2018

Abstract
The use of cannabis is often an under-reported activity in our society. Despite
legal restriction, cannabis is often used to relieve chronic and neuropathic pain,
and it carries psychotropic and physical adverse effects with a propensity for
addiction. This research aims to update the current knowledge and evidence of
using cannabis and its derivatives with a view to the sociolegal context and
perspectives. Twenty (20) high school teachers were invited to be the
participants of this research through use of questionares. The result showed
various opinions about Marijuana. Generally, the results showed that most of the
teachers are aware about medical Marijuana.

Keywords: Cannabis, Awareness, Perceptions, Legalization

Introduction

This 21st century, the era which is full of uncertainty. Where technology
arises, rules everything and somehow degrading the life span of the nature’s
gifts, including people’s lives.

Numerous Illnesses and diseases are threat to human existence that


burden by illegal doings such as corruption and criminality mainly caused by drug

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addiction. When someone is under the influence of illegal drugs, his/her brain will
not function properly as normal brain does. So it will intend to do inhuman action
because of the influence of drugs; shabu, cocaine, ecstasy, methadone, and
heroin. These are the list of the most addictive substances and the reason of
cruelty in our country including Marijuana. Marijuana or Cannabis is the benign of
all those drug’s list in the Philippines though it can cause changes in the brain to
the point of addiction. Many health experts say that it can be psychologically
addictive but roughly just 10% of people who use Marijuana will become
dependent on it, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In the Philippines, Marijuana is illegal because of its addictive expense


but having minimal news and reports that marijuana caused crimes and killings.
That resembles of low rate of being dangerous. However, it is legal in USA and
other foreign countries. Cannabis might suit to medical field and may use as
future cure to some illness when legalized. It’s very vital to be aware and know
the true essence of marijuana as medical herb, it will be very helpful since it
grows easily anywhere.

In May 9, 2017, the province of Santa Maria in Bulacan tangled in buy-


bust operation where the local police seized 14 kilos in half a sack, four large
packs and one tea-bag of shredded leaves of marijuana which cost PHP 1.4
million. Police arrested five suspected street pushers, including a minor.
(Malabanan, News5-Interaksyon 2017). That place is suitable to conduct the
research, asking the deep preposition of Senior High School teachers in the
province of Santa Maria knowing their knowledge and profession.

In today’s society, marijuana or cannabis is commonly utilized by


many teen and adults. It is a drug that has existed in society for hundred years.
Whether it is for medical reasons, socializing, obtaining a high, or escaping
depression.

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With the above mentioned informations, as STEM students who
include facing the problem of the society, the research aim to determine the
awareness of the teachers about medical marijuana for possible sharing of
knowledge to students who are not truly aware about the right information due to
misbeliefs and wrong side of understanding, it might result to disregard the
benefits of medical marijuana.

Teachers have an important task of imparting knowledge to students


which are the youth of their generation. Hence, their understanding about
medical marijuana is a vital in effectively influencing the students about its proper
usage especially its limitation. Teachers have a great responsibility of teaching
the students a rightful amount of information about medical drugs thus knowing
their awareness and perception will determine how they can effectively manage
to communicate it with the students or the youth.

Method

The researchers of this study prepared a 9-item questionnaire that aims to elicit
the respondents’ perception and awareness of Medical Marijuana. The
questionnaire distributed their questionnaires randomly to 20 different subject-
teachers from Sacred Heart Academy of Sta. Maria, Bulacan. The teachers'
names were disregarded as well as with the other profile information (gender,
age, civil, status, etc.) that will not affect the purpose of the study.
Data were obtained from the survey-questionnaires was then analyzed. It allows
the researchers to look if it would be beneficial for the students who are not truly
aware about medical marijuana due to misperception and lack of information with
the subject-matter. Subsequently, results from the study were used to create
statements and theoretical grounds that will further update the knowledge and
awareness of many, particularly, the students, with regard to the use of
Marijuana as medicine.

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Results and Discussion

Question No. 1 asked the teachers what comes to their mind when heard
the "Marijuana", many answered it is a prohibited drug, especially in our country.
According to PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1708, AMENDING PARAGRAPH (i),
Sec. 2 OF REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED SIXTY-FOUR HUNDRED AND
TWENTY-FIVE, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE "DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT
OF 1972". The volume of marijuana apprehended by law enforcement officers
and men appears to confirm the observation that the illegal growing, cultivation
and production of marijuana plants remain unchecked. Teacher no. 11 answered
it has some medical purpose and it is also addictive. The committee on health
approved on Monday House Bill No. 180 or the proposed Philippine
Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which proposes the legalization and
regulation of the medical use of medical marijuana (INQUIRER.NET, 2017).

Question No. 2 asked the teachers to know how they consider marijuana,
if it is an addictive herbs or medical herb. Majority of them answered marijuana is
addictive because of its content and based on studies, reports and other
information. Marijuana used disorder becomes addiction when the person cannot
stop using the drug even though it interferes with many aspects of his life
(National Institute of Drug Abuse). Some of the teachers said it depends on the
users on how they going to use it for purposes.

Question no. 3 is about the effects of Marijuana. The researcher of the


study realized that the common effects of Cannabis are hallucinations, having a
very strange behavior, seeing, hearing, or smelling things that aren’t there, not
being able to tell imagination from reality (psychosis), and tend to be short
tempered. Teachers, 1, 3, 6, 9, 10 agreed that the common effects of medical
herb was all about affecting a person's mental and psychological effect.
According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (2018), Pleasant experiences with
marijuana are by no means universal. Instead of relaxation and euphoria, some

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people experience anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic. Teacher 8 said that Marijuana
can help you increase appetite. It is one of the most known side effects of
Marijuana also called as "munchies". According to Dr. Mitch Earlywine, shortly
after smoking, many users will experience a sudden increase in appetite, often
leading them to raid their fridge. Though scientists are still unsure of the exact
mechanism behind this effect, a 2015 study suggested that marijuana might
activate certain pathways in the brain related to hunger.

Question no. 4 asked if the teachers think that using marijuana can cause
criminality, majority of the teachers answered yes, because they think that
marijuana causes hallucinations that can result in those criminality. According to
Rob Hotakainen - McClatchy Washington Bureau, 2013 Marijuana is the drug
most often linked to crime in the United States, the U.S. drug czar said Thursday,
dismissing calls for legalization as a “bumper-sticker approach” that should be
avoided. Gil Kerlikowske, the White House director of national drug-control
policy, said a study by his office showed a strong link between drug use and
crime. But one teacher said that it will not cause criminality but instead accident.
The study found that nearly 30 percent of fatally injured drivers tested positive for
drugs other than alcohol, with marijuana being the main culprit. For the study -
published in the Oct. issue of Epidemiologic Reviews -researchers analyzed nine
large-scale drugged driving studies. The researchers found that drivers who
tested positive for marijuana within three hours of using were more than twice as
likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash. The study also showed that the
crash risk was higher if the marijuana concentration levels found in the urine
were higher. (Ryan Jaslow, 2011)

Question no.5 asked if the teachers believe marijuana can really be used
for medication. It turned out that Teachers 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11 agreed and
said yes, that it can be used in medication. According Peter Grinspoon, MD
(2018) the most common use of medical marijuana in the United States is for
pain control. While marijuana isn't strong enough for severe pain (for example,

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post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that
plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age. The remaining Teachers
2, 6 &9 disagree and said no, because it is addictive and it can potentially cause
crime. According to Leafscience (2017) marijuana is often thought to be non-
addictive. But cannabis dependence disorder is real, and affects around 1 in 10
users. Some people might argue that marijuana is not addictive, but scientific
research indicates that’s not entirely true. While marijuana is not physically
addictive like alcohol or heroin, it can be psychologically addictive.

Question no. 6 tackled about the pro’s and con’s of legalizing marijuana in
our country. Most of the teacher said that it can cure some illnesses and be
aided, it can be used as medicine because of its effect in the brain and body.
According to Rappler (2015) Pearl Simbulan from Ateneo de manila university of
law school says that legalizing medical marijuana will provide more options to
patients who need it. It will also allow research and development on the “better
uses” of marijuana to continue. Teacher no. 4 stated that there has a study that
smoking marijuana is worse for the lungs than smoking cigarette. According to
Rappler (2015) Jackielyn Bana from UST law school says that our country has a
problem with strict and faithful implementation of government of government
policies and regulations. She also added, what guarantee do we have that a
seriously addictive drug could be regulated when simple regulations on tobacco
and alcohol prove to be impossible impose. Once marijuana is legalized there is
no possibility of regulating it.

Question no 7. stated that marijuana is known as treatment for anxiety and


depression and asked the teachers if they would suggest it to use it for that kind
of illness. Two top answers tallied as the majority as teachers 3,6, and 9 said that
they will not suggest it because if will be abused by the patient. In the article
written in Drugabuse.com features Joseph, from Rockford, Illinois, became
depressed after a death in the family and turned to marijuana for relief. His pot
use turned into a daily habit; he became paranoid, socially isolated, and suffered

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from malnutrition. T8, T10, T2, T1 said they rather suggest other medicine the is
safer than marijuana

Question no.8 asked if the legalization of medical marijuana has been


approved in our country, and how would they think what the government can do
to prevent the possibility of drug abuse. Teachers 2,4,5,9 and 10 stated that the
government should limit the distribution or use of medical marijuana and only
those who have the prescription of a doctor can buy it. According to Medical
Cannabis-Bike Tour (2017), in Canada, the regulation on access to cannabis for
medical purposes, established by Health Canada in July 2001, defines two
categories of patients eligible for access to medical cannabis, BC College of
Physicians and Surgeons’ recommendation, as well as the CMDA position, is
that physicians may prescribe cannabis if they comfortable with it. Teacher 6
didn’t agree on the legalization of medical marijuana and she doubted the ability
of the Philippine government in preventing the addiction of using marijuana.
According to INQUIRER.NET, pot advocates have argued a legal market would
generate revenue for states and save money by not having to lock up so many
drug offenders. But a group of addiction counselors and physicians in the US
said they’re seeing more marijuana addiction problems, especially in youths, and
that wider pot availability will exacerbate the problem.

Question no. 9 was about the legalization of marijuana in the Philippines


because of its medicinal uses despite the anti-drug war in the Philippine
government. Majority of the teachers answered no, because they think that it
might abuse and used for illegal purposes. According to Marie Sybil Tropicals
(2015), medical marijuana should not be legalized because at present, its
detriments outweigh its benefits. Medical marijuana is not necessary for
legislation because essentially, it is not a cure in itself. But some teachers
answered yes because they thought that we need to prioritize the health
condition of other people first, many of them suffer from anxiety, depression,
cancer and many more and if ever, maybe marijuana is the only ways to treat

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them so why not legalize marijuana as a medical use. According to Pearl
Simbulan (2015) legalizing medical marijuana is the only and the best
comprehensive approach to health. What we think in legalizing medical
marijuana is that we provide the optimal care: [providing] a range of options that
a physician who is in the best position to make these decisions can do for the
patient. Because we illegalized blanketly marijuana, research on these kinds of
things stopped, and it has become harder for us to discover even better uses of
marijuana.

Conclusion

1. Teachers considered Marijuana as illegal and addictive.

2. Teachers believed that Marijuana can cause possible crimes because of


its uncontrollable effects like being short tempered and causing
hallucinations.

3. Teachers agreed that marijuana can be used as medicine, but in real life
they would not suggest to use Cannabis for some illnesses because of the
possibility of being abused.

4. Teachers are not supporting the legalization of Marijuana in our country


because it will only be abused by the people, but others said we need to
prioritize our health.

Recommendation
1. Though some of the teachers are aware about medical Marijuana, there
are still some teachers who need to become truly aware by attending
seminars, browsing on the internet, and definitely be open-minded.

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2. DepEd should add to the curriculum the discussion about the real effects
of using Marijuana and its possible treatment to some illness for the
students to be aware and prevent wrong usage of it.

3. Teachers need to motivate themselves to impart facts about Marijuana in


their classes and also motivate their students to not use Marijuana in
illegal way.

4. Teachers should seek information to other knowledgeable people like


doctors, science teachers, and to those who had tried to use Marijuana to
expand their own knowledge.

5. If ever the legalization of Marijuana approved, the government and local


government need to be more aggressive in implementing its law. They
need to prevent possible abuse of medical Marijuana to the users. They
should have a strict rule that the patient must first have a prescription
signed from a doctor.

To sum up, the researchers concluded that most of the teachers are aware about
Marijuana and its medicinal uses proved by their answers. Even their awareness
were not thoroughly deep, and limited, they still able to answer all of the
significant questions. However, they opposing on legalizing Medical Marijuana in
our country even though they know its purposes. They believed that because of
rampant drug addiction, it will be hard to prevent the possibility of Marijuana
being abused by its users. But according to Pres. Rodrigo Dutere he would push
for stricter regulation to ensure that medicinal marijuana would be offered only to
those who really need it (if Marijuana was legalized). "Medicinal marijuana, yes,
because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine. There are medicines being
developed, or are now in the market, that contain marijuana for medical
purposes,” president said in an interview in Inquirer.net.

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Reference

Geronimo, J. (2015). Law students debate on legalizing medical marijuana in PH.


Retrieve from https://www.rappler.com/nation/95806-law-students-debate-
medical-marijuana

Hotakainen, R. (2013). Marijuana is drug most often linked to crime. Retrieve


from http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-
government/article24749413.html

Concepcion, P. (2017). Marijuana as medicine. Retrieve from


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/922738/marijuana-as-medicine

P.D. No. 1708 : Philippine Laws, Statutes and Codes: Chan Robles Virtual Law
Library. (n.d.). Retrieve from
.cwwwhanrobles.com/presidentialdecrees/presidentialdecreeno1708.html#

Life Science. (2017) 9 Side Effects of Marijuana. Retrieve from


https://www.leafscience.com/2016/04/19/side-effects-marijuana/

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Retrieve from


https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-
are-marijuana-effects

Phil of Humanity. (2012). The Pros and Cons of Legalized Marijuana. Retrieve
from http://www.philforhumanity.com/Marijuana.html

Grinspoon, P.(2018). Medical marijuana. Retrieve from


https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-marijuana-2018011513085

Minton, B. (2015). Marijuana Kills Cancer Cells, Admits the U.S. National Cancer
Institute. Retrieve from http://naturalsociety.com/marijuana-kills-cancer-

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cells-admits-the-u-s-national-cancer-institute/

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