Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chairman, Secretary Antonio A. Villar, Jr., stresses that using any part of the opium plant, even for food preparation and decorative purposes are punishable acts under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, R.A. 9165.
Reports of restaurants, bakeries, delicatessen and flower shops selling seeds, straws, flowers, leaves and other plant parts of the opium poppy prodded the DDB to remind establishment owners and consumers that they risk prosecution when found to have imported, sold and possessed parts of the prohibited plant, even if intended for culinary or decorative use.
Secretary Villar cited Article II, Sections 4, 5 and 11 of R.A. 9165 that consider the importation, sale and trade, and possession, respectively, of opium poppy plant parts as unlawful acts punishable by imprisonment of twelve to twenty years, or a lifetime, and fine ranging from 500,000 to 10 million pesos.
‘Opium’, the opium poppy plant’s sap, is a substance that when abused causes physical and psychological dependence.
“We urge the public remain committed to the anti-drug advocacy and be wary of risking prosecution because of using plant parts of the opium poppy,” Secretary Villar said.
DDB has coordinated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Board’s law enforcement arm, to further its investigation on establishments that have been found to sell parts of the opium poppy plant.
The DDB is the policy-making and strategy formulating body of the Philippine government on matters to drug abuse prevention and control. It seeks to come up with responsive policies and socially-involving programs that address drug dependency in the country. -30- Glorie Lou Pasa, PIO, Dangerous Drugs Board