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Japanese Ministry of Health to discuss legalization of medical cannabis

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A committee of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare met on May 25 to begin discussions on lifting the ban on medical cannabis to benefit patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy.

As I mentioned Asahi ShimbunThe department may review the current law sometime this summer. Japanese law currently prohibits any possession or cultivation of any part of the cannabis, including “the nails, leaves, roots, and underdeveloped stems of the cannabis plant.”

Asahi Shimbun It refers to the “Group of Seven,” or the seven countries with the most advanced economies, which include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Among these, Japan currently has one of the strictest approaches to regulating and banning cannabis. in August 2021the Japanese ministry wrote a report that recommended that the government should consider following the example of other countries to allow patients to use medical cannabis.

While the department is discussing adding a provision to the cannabis control law that would rule out medicinal cannabis consumption from becoming a cause for punishment, the agency is also seeking to further criminalize recreational use.

Although hemp is illegal, there are some Japanese hemp growers who are licensed to produce hemp to make it ShiminawaIt is a specific rope commonly used at shrines. There are no penalties for these growers, fearing that rope production could include “unintentionally inhaling marijuana materials.” However, this assumption was disproved when farmers’ urine tests did not show positive for cannabis in a Survey conducted in 2019.

Asahi Shimbun He writes that some experts believe that the law should provide treatment options for “marijuana addicts to prevent recurrence,” which mainly include Japanese youth.

In December 2021, Japanese gaming company Capcom The use of the Ace Attorney character was allowed to reduce cannabis consumption in the nation’s youth, in collaboration with the Osaka Prefectural Police (OPP). Previously, Capcom assisted the Bureau of Crime Prevention with other crime prevention campaigns. “Capcom hopes to support crime prevention activities in Osaka and all of Japan through this program, which will see the production of 6,000 original posters, as well as 4,000 original flyers that will be included with individually wrapped face masks,” the company said in a statement. press release.

Japan has always banned cannabis under The Anti-Cannabis Law that came into effect in 1948. Historically, cannabis has had its place in Japanese culture and religion, but from the 1950s onward, Japanese cannabis law mirrors the United States’ approach to prohibition. The Japanese hemp industry was still allowed to operate, but due to expensive cultivation licenses and low demand for hemp goods, only a few farms were left.

While the government’s perspective is beginning to shift, it is still clear that Japan needs more progress before it can fully embrace cannabis legalization. In 1980, former Beatle Paul McCartney visited Japan with less than eight ounces in his possession, which kept him from returning for 11 years. In February 2022, a The US Marines received two years of hard labor Mail order “half a gallon of weed-infused liquor and a quarter pound of cannabis” from an unnamed person in Nevada. on May 17 The school nurse has been imprisoned She was allegedly in possession of an “unspecified amount of dried cannabis in two jars and a plastic bag.”

Even when Canada legalized cannabis in 2018, the Japanese government issued a statement reminding Japanese citizens living on a large scale that Cannabis is illegal to consume even if they live in a country where it is legal.

According to Kyodo News, the National Police Agency is publishing data that there are 5,482 people have been arrested for violating Japan’s cannabis law (4,537 possession, 273 illegal sale, 230 illegal cultivation).

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