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Marijuana tops paint thinner as most abused substance in Japan

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"with some believing Marijuana is less harmful than other types of drugs". Let me just say this.... definitely I'd rather have my kid smoke weed over paint thinner. And.... if my kid was the addictive type... I'd rather they smoke weed over alcohol. Preferably they don't drink, snort, inhale, inject or smoke anything of course.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

most abused substance

Sniffing paint thinner is definitely an abuse of a substance - ie using it in a way other than its intended/original purpose, but how have they been abusing marijuana? As far as I can tell, they are using it correctly - though the liquid and wax forms sound like things to avoid for beginners.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Marijuana tops paint thinner as most abused substance in Japan

Well, I sure hope so.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Still, you never hear about a crime committed while high on marijuana.

Alcohol, on the other hand...

26 ( +27 / -1 )

Marijuana tops paint thinner as most abused substance in Japan

Did they count alcohol as well or just illegal stuff?

Because the Japanese abuse alcohol like there is no tomorrow.

30 ( +30 / -0 )

Since the government has tightened regulations on "dangerous drugs" that can cause effects similar to those of narcotics and stimulants, authorities suspect more people are using marijuana instead of "dangerous drugs."

Good news! The so called 'dangerous drugs' really are dangerous, whereas marijuana is not.

There are concerns that young people in particular are susceptible to marijuana use out of curiosity, with some believing marijuana is less harmful than other types of drugs.

'Knowing' not 'believing'. 'Believing' indicates they are under the mistakenly under the impression that a mistruth is truth. In this case, there is no mistruth - marijuana IS less harmful than other types of drugs.

Other incidents causing alarm include the confiscation of concentrated forms of marijuana such as marijuana liquid and wax, which are highly potent and more dangerous, according to the authorities.

Well, the authorities are correct that it's highly potent. 'More dangerous' however implies danger in the first place.

This is just another propaganda piece, pushing outdated propaganda at that.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

While the rest of the world is moving to decriminalize and legalize cannabis, Japan still thinks it's "dangerous". Cannabis is proven to be non-physically addictive, have healing properties, etc. Far, far, far safer and better for you than alcohol or tobacco (which are perfectly legal in Japan!).

But is it any surprise that this country is still stuck in draconian thinking on any issue? Perhaps they should take a look at Canada, or the increasing number of States in the US (which originally banned cannabis use in Japan to begin with) and take strides to at the very LEAST approve it for its medicinal purposes.

Articles like this still perpetuate the idea that cannabis is "wrong". What's wrong is keeping a medicinal plant illegal while peddling poison like tobacco and alcohol on every poster within view of anyone (including children).

16 ( +17 / -1 )

some believing marijuana is less harmful than other types of drugs.

Fact not belief.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Alcohol is 10x worse than marijuana, or more. People overdose on alcohol daily and die. Just because alcohol is socially acceptable, doesn't make it ok. Nobody, ever, anywhere has ever overdosed on marijuana.

The Drug Enforcement Administration states that there have been no reported overdose deaths from marijuana.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

As much as I dislike drug use, I have to say this is an improvement. Paint thinner is extremely dangerous.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I bet most people who responded with a "yes", did it overseas. I know a quite a few friends who tried them overseas, but don't use them in Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So legalize it already!!!! Wake up to the 21st century JAPAN!!!!

with some believing marijuana is less harmful than other types of drugs.

This is such an absurd statement! Marijuana IS less harmful. Do you honestly believe that its just as harmful than snorting PAINT THINNER?? And the stupid thing is that the more dangerous chemical is legal!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I know a quite a few friends who tried them overseas, but don't use them in Japan.

Smart friends.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I hate to think what regular paint thinner sniffing does to the developing brain in terms of potential long term effects. I assume when they say pain thinner, they mean it's being sniffed, rather than taken in some other form.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

"Booze and tobacco still dominates all other abused substances in Japan by a longshot". There, fixed it.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Good news I think, tighter restrictions to keep the really bad stuff out, so if the kids are determined to try a drug out they'll only have the option of something which is by far the least dangerous option and a hell of a lot better than homemade options like paint and nitrogen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let's look at this closely. How many news articles on this site alone report crimes committed by someone while under the influence of alcohol versus crimes committed by someone while under the influence of weed? But "marijuwanna" is the worst drug as it appears to be says some people who never tried it. Right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow! Paint thinner was the top substance abuse in Japan? They must be so thankful to have hooter take its place at the top. Paint thinner is a substance, hooter is a plant.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

How bad does your life have to get before you start inhaling paint thinner?

The legal substances are bad enough but have a "social" acceptance.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Alcohol and tobacco are OK, and Marijuana is similar to paint thinner.

That absurd result is what I got from this piece of government propaganda.

Force these so-called scientists to support their "belief" that MJ is dangerous.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

I believe alcohol and tabacco are abused 50,000X more than paint thinner and weed.

Weed is being used more than thinner? My goodness, maybe we should have a national holiday. Paint thinner kills ladies and gents.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Inhaling solvents has a higher death rate compared to other ways to get high. Marijuana isn't the safe, side effect free substance many of it's fans like to think, but it is much safer tha sniffing paint thinner.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

How can they estimate, with a study group of 5000 who only half responded? Also, if you were asked to admit to taking drugs which are illegal in japan, would you really confess? 1,331,765 pot smokers? How they know this figure from a sample of 2,899 responders?

i hate drugs especially meth, but the shocking thing for me is that people resort to paint thinners. A relative of my partner resorted to sniffing fly spray. He is homeless without any brain cells and a major burden to our family. Beyond help.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Inhaling solvents has a higher death rate compared to other ways to get high. Marijuana isn't the safe, side effect free substance many of it's fans like to think, but it is much safer tha sniffing paint thinner.

MJ is safer than aspirin, tylenol, or any other pharmaceutical drug you can legally buy over the counter or by prescription to include alcohol and tobacco, or any illegal drug. I've even heard of water poisoning from drinking too much water.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Now that's what I call excellent news this morning!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Paint thinner?

Just say no to solvents.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There are concerns that young people in particular are susceptible to marijuana use out of curiosity, with some believing marijuana is less harmful than other types of drugs.

"Susceptible"... likes it's some kind of disease. Please! Stop with the clueless demonization of marijuana!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I assume when they say pain thinner, they mean it's being sniffed, rather than taken in some other form.

For a moment I thought "paint thinner" was referring to One Cup Ozeki equivalents, but then I realized the numbers who be vastly greater if that were the case...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I would agree that marihuana is better in many ways than alcohol and given the choice, Japan might choose marihuana. But imagine what would happen if marihuana AND alcohol were legal. Perhaps the reason they don't want to legalise it here is because they couldn't handle BOTH at one time.

And in any case, the gang that's dissing marihuana are the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry. What they know about the mind could be written in 28 point type on a postage stamp and many of them are nuttier than the people they attempt to treat.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

A sign that the Japanese are developing more sophisticated tastes! It is also to be hoped that the growing popularity of MJ will put pressure on the alcohol-addled politicians who are holding back research and impeding the progress of medical science which is already able to relieve the pain and suffering of millions, were it not for the draconian laws promulgated by antediluvian soaks. Especially urgent is the legalization of research into the medicinal benefits of LSD, psilocybin, DMT, MDMA for treating depression, alcoholism, OCD and other psychological conditions that plague the fragile psyches of untold numbers of sufferers. Authoritarian attitudes endemic to many people in government (occupational hazard?) have held back science for more than 60 years. Once again it seems like the Japanese will have to take lessons from the West.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The paint thinner is being abused, for its intended purpose is to thin paint, not get a person high.

Marijuana is being used illegally -- in terms of Japanese law -- not being abused. With legalisation, education, advise and government sourced marijuana, the economic advantages over the abuse of paint thinner would be significant.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"sent out to 5,000 people in that age bracket between September and October 2017, with 2,899 of them responding."

This is not a representative sample, and there is no way to assure that data collected by survey is valid or accurate. No researcher would take these numbers seriously - they are hightly speculative extrapolations.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

One does not abuse marijuana. One simply uses it. (albeit, illegally in Japan.)

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Alcohol = addictive. Marijuana = not addictive. Alcohol = damaging. Marijuana = non-damaging. Alcohol = intoxicating. Marijuana = intoxicating.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

uddite - Marijuana isn't the safe, side effect free substance many of it's fans like to think

Really? And you base this on what? Have you ever done any research on the side effects of MJ or are you just quoting anti-MJ sentiment? To date, there has never been a death directly attributed to MJ. The documented side effects are only emotional issues for those who already had emotional problems before using MJ. The facts that MJ treats and, in some cases, cures many diseases such as epilepsy, many kinds of cancers and is also used as a safe pain killer seem to be absent from your point of view. MJ can be abused just like any other kind of drug, but the legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol kill millions of people every year. MJ kills nobody.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'm definitely not on the MJ bandwagon, but there is no question about it being infinitely less bad than paint thinner.

I mean, seriously? You're comparing it with paint thinner?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Paint thinner and glue are abused on a regular basis by teens in Japan, and yet are readily available to anyone including kids. Whereas, no one has ever died from marijuana usage, and its considered a dangerous drugs.

And consider this, there are substances called "legalized herbs" in Japan, which are several time more toxic and dangerous and yet are allowed for recreational use.

Japan: please get a clue already. Parts of the US and Europe have legalized marijuana with great success. If you cannot lead, at least follow!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Marijuana is illegal and dangerous drug. I dont touch the stuff. Keep it out of Japan!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@bertie. There is a mental health department at my hospital. In the morning I watch 70% of the doctors in that department make between 5-7 attempts to park a car. You may be right. And they are always late for work.

many posters seem to back maryjane use as opposed to alcohol. My experience of japan is workers are totally stressed and rely on coffee and tobacco to perk them up at work, and alcohol to relax and destress when they get home. If they smoke dope, they will never get their job done and Japan’s economy will decline a further 20% more. If people wanna smoke dope, go to Canada, Holland, Cambodia etc on holiday, but let’s keep japan drug free.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Marijuana is illegal and dangerous drug. I dont touch the stuff. Keep it out of Japan!!

Would you care to speak a little as to how it has had a negative, or dangerous, affect on you personally? Genuinely curious.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Marijuana is illegal and dangerous drug. I dont touch the stuff. Keep it out of Japan!!

Sure, it is illegal in Japan, but please tell us how you came to the conclusion that it is dangerous.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

please tell us how you came to the conclusion that it is dangerous.

I don't think that's a conclusion people come to, it's just repeating that which they were told by people they were supposed to be able to believe.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Will they forbid home stay in Canada once it is legal there later this year?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't think that's a conclusion people come to, it's just repeating that which they were told by people they were supposed to be able to believe.

There is that explanation, the parrot who repeats but doesn't know what it says.

The other one is illegal means dangerous.

Both are fallacies. Legal is often still dangerous.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Amazes me what links humans will go to to kill brain cells. At least pot has a type of halucingentic effect, unlike paint thinner that just deadens the brain.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

And to all of you anti tabacco people out there, can any of you explain why we have nicotine receptors in our brains?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

As with any substance that we ingest, too much of a good thing can be bad. Especially when comparing modern marijuana to products even 15 years ago, the level of THC is much greater now. An overdose on marijuana is dissimilar to overdoses on other drugs because marijuana consumption, in and of itself, is not life-threatening. But using too much of the drug can have hazardous results, which may increase the risk of death.

Someone who consumed a lot of marijuana may be unaware of their environment, which can lead to accidents. Furthermore, marijuana intoxication has been linked, in some studies, with psychosis, resulting in hallucinations, delusions, or extreme paranoia. A person who is having a psychotic episode may put themselves in dangerous situations due to confusion or detachment.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The irony is that cannabis was legal in Japan until Americans made it illegal during the occupation. Now America is doing a complete 180. I'm willing to bet there will be talk of legalization before 2030.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

darknuts

The irony is that cannabis was legal in Japan until Americans made it illegal during the occupation. Now America is doing a complete 180. I'm willing to bet there will be talk of legalization before 2030.

I think the people didn't smoke it they grew it for the hemp fiber.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Furthermore, marijuana intoxication has been linked, in some studies, with psychosis, resulting in hallucinations, delusions, or extreme paranoia

Don't know about the first two, but paranoia is why I quit (years before coming to Japan), and I have met a few others who quit for the same reason.

That said, heavy drinking can affect people in different ways as well, some more seriously than others. Everything has risk associated with it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Goodlucktoyou,

@bertie. There is a mental health department at my hospital. In the morning I watch 70% of the doctors in that department make between 5-7 attempts to park a car. You may be right.

I think in my career, I've taught Japanese people from just about every walk of life. Several of them have been psychiatrists. What I learn from these people is that in medical university, the number one choice is surgery, because that's where the perks are. The bottom end is psych. Nobody ever cures anybody. Nobody is grateful. And, let's face it, if you don't know what you're dealing with, mental conditions are just as contagious as viruses. That is, perhaps, where their nuttiness comes from.

In most fields of life, the expert is the person who can get results. Psychs don't get results. The suicide rate amongst patients mid-"treatment" is very high. I cannot understand why these people are called upon to give an opinion about something like drug abuse. They can't cure it, so how can they be thought of as experts?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Paint thinner? The authorioshould be pushing pot over paint thinner. There is no comparison. Paint thinner is much more harmful. Jeez!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How can they estimate, with a study group of 5000 who only half responded?

It’s called statistics. The margin of error is partially determined by the number of respondents.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I should hope so.

Good news all round.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It’s called statistics. The margin of error is partially determined by the number of respondents.

Proper statistics requires a "random sample" from the entire population. Any sort of self selection breaks that premise and destroys the validity of the same.

About 1600 truly random samples from any population is required to get +/-3% accuracy. A larger sample, from a non-random sample doesn't fix anything.

Next, the questions must be asked without any built-in bias. This is harder than it seems. Whenever math mixes with humans, things get hard.

Telephone surveys used to be the easiest way to get a random sample, but since people don't answer phones anymore, it is useless. Surveys at a mall are useless too - self-selection and the same applies to internet surveys. There are entire groups that do not visit malls and groups that do not use the internet. That introduces error before any questions are even asked.

All these problems explain why election results aren't as predictable as they once were. Getting a random sample of the "likely voters" is next to impossible.

Without knowing how they got the random samples, no statistical claims are worth the paper it is printed on.

I took part in a telephone survey about tobacco use. The questions were totally biased against smokers. Being a "math guy", I pointed the issues out to the caller who was just trying to get people to answer the questions, using their biased possible answers. I don't smoke tobacco, never saw the point, but the survey they were performing in hopes of influencing govt policy were ... criminal.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Just legalise it already and apply the same rules of use as alcohol. No one is going to die from using weed, but they might become addicted to serious bouts of the munchies and giggles!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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