Manila, Philippines – Sitting at an undisclosed location in Metro Manila, Alden is busy preparing for his next delivery until his phone beeps. He says it is one of his customers texting to check that he is OK and hasn’t been shot like thousands of others since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
Alden, however, is not a typical drug dealer. He treats hundreds of patients with debilitating diseases and life-threatening illnesses, even though he never studied medicine in college. He may not be a doctor, but he has something very few medical practitioners in the Philippines have: cannabis oil.
Despite a strict prohibition on marijuana – which is made from dried cannabis leaves and flowers – and the threat of Duterte’s crackdown on drugs, Alden manages an underground network that provides marijuana to people suffering from a wide range of medical conditions – including cancer, neurological