For better or for worse, Sagada has gotten the unfair reputation of being a source of marijuana (obtained from Cannabis sativa) and the town’s name has even been linked to the best quality of the “drug”. Whether you believe in the legalization of marijuana use is irrelevant when you’re in Sagada – or anywhere in the Philippines for that matter. Yes, many countries have moved forward and made it possible for its citizens to access and use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes but only Philippine laws would apply should you ever get caught.
Here’s what the law states:
Republic Act 1965 is the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. It metes out very stiff penalties for those who are found using, selling, storing and manufacturing substances that appear on a fairly comprehensive list included in the bill (the list includes cocaine, heroine, MDMA and other substances). You will face anywhere from 12 to 20 years in jail if you are found guilty and if you’ve seen what Philippine jails are like, it’s likely that you wouldn’t want to spend more than a few minutes in one.
So please, do not unfairly equate Sagada with weed. The place can stand alone without that tag and reputation. No, it is NOT true that the people don’t care if you do use it – but you’re more than welcome to push your luck between getting a cheap thrill and landing 20 years in the slammer.
Do what you wish at your own risk.