The world just crowned the new Miss Universe in Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday. The 24-year-old Catriona Magnayon Gray from the Philippines bested girls from 93 other countries and territories.
In the Top 5 Question and Answer round, Gray had to share her views about legalizing marijuana.
The host of Miss Universe 2018, American comedian Steve Harvey, asked: “Canada recently joined Uruguay as the second nation in the world to make marijuana legal. What is your opinion on the legalization of marijuana?”
Her response was very brief, yet straight to the point. Gray said that she supports legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, but not for recreational purposes.
“I’m for being used in medical use but not so for recreational use. Because I think if people were to argue, ‘what about alcohol and cigarettes?’ Well, everything is good but in moderation. Thank you.” – Miss Philippines Catriona Gray
The newly crowned Miss Universe later told reporters that the question on cannabis legalization was definitely an active topic and relevant. Many believe this was in reference to the Philippine government’s war on drugs, which has already killed thousands of people. This war on drugs has also caused alarm among international human rights supporters.
Just recently, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte admitted to — or joked about — using marijuana to stay awake and keep up with the demands of his job. He has since expressed his openness to legalize medical cannabis, contradicting his previous statement about never legalizing it while he is in office.
Gray’s comment can help PH medical cannabis bill?
Some lawmakers believe that Gray’s comment during the pageant will pave the way for the approval of the medical cannabis bill, also known as the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act or HB 6517. The bill is currently pending before the House of Representatives and, if passed, it would give patients legal access to the drug and therefore provide a better quality of life.
Rep. Rodito Albano said that they are certain Gray’s statement will convince Congress to expedite the passage of the bill into law. Albano is one of HB 6517’s co-authors and he vowed that he will continue to support the measure at plenary and ratification.
The Filipinos take international beauty pageants very seriously and they take pride in their representatives. So it won’t be surprising if Gray’s views on medical cannabis would bear a lot of weight on and influence the people’s collective opinion.
The Australian-born Filipino beauty queen is also a television host, singer, model, and stage actress. She received a certificate in Music Theory from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.