The Philippines: Cannabis in Duterte’s Backyard?

Like this, but with cannabis.

For those of you familiar with the Philippines, you know that “President Rodrigo Duterte” and “war on drugs” are two parts of the same phrase. In the first two years of his presidency, Duterte sanctioned the killing of over 10,000 Filipinos who were connected in any way to the drug trade. But you might be surprised at the trending undercurrents within the Philippines regarding cannabis, even in light of Duterte’s strong stance against drugs.

By way of background, the Philippines is a country with a population of approximately 107 million, roughly 1/3 that of the United States population and only 20 million fewer people than Mexico’s 126 million. It is a highly religious country, with approximately 92% adhering to some form of Christianity and 6% adhering to Islam. Approximately 64% of the country speaks English, and approximately 10 million Filipinos live and work overseas, making it one of the largest diaspora populations in the world. Due to its high English speaking population, its significant diaspora in the United States, and its strong pharmaceutical industry that is already tied to the United States, the Philippines is an attractive cannabis participant, both as part of the supply

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