Health ministry requests Y1.1 bil budget to deal with 'dangerous drugs'


In an effort to strengthen its anti-drug programs and campaigns, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has submitted a budgetary appropriations request for next year amounting to 1.1 billion yen which is nearly 10 times higher than the amount requested for 2014.

Because the number of accidents and crimes related to "dangerous drugs" -- the new designation given by the government to what used to be called loophole drugs -- has continued to increase across Japan, the ministry is requesting that the capacity to analyze such drugs at research facilities across the country be increased by 10 times, TBS reported Wednesday.

If the budget is approved, the National Institute of Health Sciences will be provided with enough technology and manpower to process and analyze approximately 5,000 illegal substances a year, at its facilities, as well as outsourcing some work, a ministry spokesman said.

The extra funds will also be used to increase the number of inspectors needed to visit shops selling quasi-legal herbs.

The 1.1 billion yen request is part of a record-high 31.67 trillion yen budget sought by the health ministry for fiscal 2015.

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As amazing as a 10 times increase to 1.1 billion yen sounds, it's just a drop in the bucket.

The real story is the "record-high 31.67 trillion yen budget sought by the health ministry for fiscal 2015". That's Trillion with a T, not Billion with a B.

The 31.67 Trillion requested together with the 26 Trillion yen required for servicing outstanding debt would eat up the government's tax revenues even with the extra sales tax, and that's before spending requested from any other ministries is even taken into consideration.

The way the Japanese bureaucracy goes about spending needs to be overhauled completely.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

1.1 billion yen for a couple of anti-drug posters etc.... waste of money

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The easiest and cheapest way to solve the problem of quasi--legal herbs and loophole drugs is to do what many U.S. states have done and legalise one illegal herb, which has never caused a death by overdose.

Many of the most dangerous drugs found in Japan are prescription drugs. This very morning I read "Prescription Painkiller Deaths Fall Almost 25% in Medical Marijuana States" whereas they have been increasinginm other states.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The extra funds will also be used to increase the number of inspectors needed to visit shops selling quasi-legal herbs.

But it's legal, how about spending that money on changing the law!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Science and best interest of the public are totally ignored, they are only interested in getting a bigger budget.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

what a waste ...legalize and tax it and MAKE money from it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Some have been terminally brainwashed by "Reefer Madness" and are possibly beyond hope of having logical thought, but prohibition only creates a black market which foments far more dangers. The better solution would be to re-legalise cannabis from production to consumption.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For governments it's all about the the money. First create a ptoblem, then blow it out of proportion until it becomes a crisis, then demand a budget.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Just pick a "mascot" pay him 780yen an hour. Probably just as effective, maybe even more in japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If one puts this into a more rational perspective, it is not just about the amount of money or good government.

The problem is the demand for and the availability of harmful drugs. That translates to those who want to use such drugs and those that want to provide them even if considered dangerous and illegal.

Use and demand is a personal and a social issue and problem. If that problem becomes harmful for the good of the society, government can only change the society's rules of conduct which we call laws. Unfortunately laws must be enforceable and be enforced to make any sense and to have any affect. That takes people. And people require compensation, just as drugs need to be purchased.

The problem with enforcement is that both the supplier and the buyer must be monitored and controlled. That requires multiple efforts from effective legislation and effective police powers to taxation to even education and advertising. Today that monitoring is international. And,... all of that takes much time and money.

Ultimately it comes down to psychology of the seller and the buyer. That is something a government cannot control and enforce. That is something usually taught by, engrained by and monitored by the family and the social environment by what we call values and ethics.

However, for the benefit of those that do not use drugs and those that may be negatively affected and harmed by drugs, society as represented by the government must take action. This article is stating that it requires more money because they have not been able to control and reduce the problem.

Or, they can just ignore the whole thing. But then that is another matter.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

funny that one cant be perscribed opiates from a doctor in japan but one can go to the nearest drugstore and buy BRON, which has a chemically altered form of codeine (an opiate) in it. Wouldnt the chemically altered codeine be considered a dangerous drug based on the same line of thinking? It is an altered form of a drug which is already illegal in japan, the exact same thing as Spice type products.

Oh well, it wont matter in 10 years. The US will significantly alter their drug policies on a national level, which will lead its allies to follow suit. I am truly amazed the Japanese populace has taken such a social turn towards MacArthur laws, considering they were initially put in place to control the natural social activities of occupied. Lol.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a waste of money. This sort of approach doesn't work, it's just paying lip service to the problem.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a joke! Do you know why these "loop hole" drugs are not a problem in the USA? Because they are not a problem. It has been reported all week long. search for yourself selves, its all over the net: States with legal marijuana are reporting a 25% drop in pain killer overdoses. Legal marijuana lowers crime, lowers DUMB drug use, lowers dumb crap like using these loop hole drugs. If you are dumb enough to use weed you are going to use a loop hole drug. It is as simple as that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree with fxgai. 31.37 trillion yen is 300 billion USD. That is a lot of money. < >

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare thought of a clever way to announce that they are asking for so much money without anyone noticing, by having everyone (except fxgai and his up-voters on this page at least) concentrate on the drop in a bucket increase, which most Japanese will agree with anyway. Very clever. But when is Japan going to default on its debt?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stupid. Just make sure to let everybody know that frying your brain and driving a motor vehicle will not be accepted under any circumstances. What kind of chemical people drink/sniff/smoke in the privacy of their home, who cares?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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