There are some people in the Philippines who are addicted to using marijuana.Marijuana comes from portions of the Cannabis plant. The use of marijuana is legal in other countries like in some states in the US. But, in the Philippines, people are prohibited from using it. Those who will be caught using, selling or planting Marijuana will be arrested.
Just recently, an Italian national was arrested for allegedly growing marijuana (Cannabis) plant on the veranda of her house. The suspect said that she thought she was only growing Lagundi – which looks almost the same as the Cannabis plant. Lagundi is a plant known for its medicinal benefits. It is commonly used in treating cough and other respiratory problems.
According to the suspect: “They were given to me by an Igorot lady and said it’s medicinal and she said it’s Lagundi and suddenly these people telling me it’s not.”
About 6 pots of alleged marijuana plants were confiscated from the Italian. Her son and her son’s friends were also arrested. They were caught drinking alcohol mixed with “marijuana”. They will be facing charges for violating Republic Act 9165 also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
According to the authorities, they received a report about the marijuana seedlings from a concerned citizen.Police Chief Inspector Marlo Evasco said: “May nag-inform sa atin, nag-text na may maingay na umiinom. Nung pumunta tayo, nakita natin na yung mga naka-plant na naka-pot na marijuana.”
As of this writing, the suspects are still under the custody of the Baguio City Police Office – Station 3.
So, what is the difference between lagundi and Cannabis (marijuana) plant?
Lagundi is a plant that can grow up to 5 meters. Cannabis is a flowering plant that can also grow up to 5 meters high.
Lagundi has pointed leaves with 3 to 5 leaflets looking like a hand. Cannabis, on the other hand, has thin, jagged leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets.
The bark of a Lagundi plant is reddish-brown in color while the Cannabis bark is just green in color.
So, if you’re growing Lagundi plant (or if you have Lagundi plants), make sure to count the leaves and check out the color of its bark. You’ll never know. You might be surprised that you already have a small plantation of Cannabis plant in your home!