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Japan's draconian marijuana laws against ongoing trends

74 Comments

On Oct 25, former actress Saya Takagi was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana. The self-described "naturalist" took up residence on Ishigaki island five years ago. Also arrested was Takagi's male companion, Shigenari Moriyama, who had been actively promoting the use of the weed, praising its effectiveness for anti-aging.

Last July, Takagi went so far as to declare her candidacy as a member of the Japan Renaissance Party, running for a seat in the upper house of the Diet. Her platform included legalization of marijuana for medical use. She was defeated, but voiced her satisfaction that the election helped him "get the word out to lots of people."

Spa! reports that Takagi and Moriyama have yet to admit to the charges, despite the police confiscating such evidence as enough cannabis sativa to light up 100 times, along with pipes and other used smoking paraphernalia.

"I only met with Ms Takagi once, but concerning the matter of legalization of marijuana for medical use, I had communicated through Mr Hiroyuki Arai, a former member of the Japan Renaissance Party," said Koichi Maeda, director of an NPO that backs legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. "I sympathized with her. But I can't get over the feeling that she hadn't sufficiently studied the issues. During questioning in the Diet, a member of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare testified that Japan's controls on marijuana have been concluded through an 'international agreement.' But actually all the nations in the Group of Eight, except Japan, allow for medical use of marijuana. From the beginning, medical use and research of cannabis had not been banned. Annual reports from the International Narcotics Control Board, the World Health Organization and so on had welcomed such research.

"I would have hoped that these points would have been raised during discussions in the Diet, but they weren't."

Maeda is nonetheless sympathetic toward Takagi, and voiced his opinion that along with favorable effects, it is "far less addictive or harmful than are alcohol or tobacco."

"That's why many advanced economies such as the Netherlands and some U.S. states such as Washington and Colorado permit not only medical use, but have decriminalized possession, and other countries, such as Britain and Germany do not penalize possession of small amounts for personal use. In some countries, there are heavier fines for smoking on a public street," he says. "Only Japan is going against the world currents on this. Mobilizing 30 police to arrest a violator, and then pillorying the accused in a media frenzy is unthinkable in Europe or North America."

Spa! then enumerates marijuana's medically proven benefits, such as inducing relaxation, reducing inflammation, suppressing pain or muscle spasms, and helping patients in the terminal stages of diseases such as cancer or AIDS. Which is all the more reason for Japan to reconsider its current law banning the drug.

Following the arrest of Masamitsu Yamamoto, a terminal cancer patient, for possession of marijuana, Maeda testified in court on his behalf. "Mr Yamamoto, who had been informed by his physician that his condition was terminal, inquired about obtaining marijuana through contacts to the Ministries of Health and Justice. He was turned away. So he cultivated it on his own, and they busted him. At the trial, he stated that his use was in accordance with constitutional guarantees of the right to life, and that therefore he should be judged innocent. He attended his trial in a wheelchair, and doggedly told the court, 'I want to keep on living.' 'I want to be able to use marijuana.' He gained a lot of sympathy, but died last July at age 58, before the trial was over."

If anything, the laws against marijuana in South Korea, China and other East Asian countries are even stricter. But do efforts to eradicate its use need to be so extreme as to prevent treatment of unfortunate individuals like the late Mr Yamamoto? Perhaps with the arrest of Ms Takagi, Spa! suggests, it's a good time for the Diet to give the issue more serious consideration.

© Japan Today

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74 Comments
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Big pharma, big alcohol and big tobacco want to halt legalization. They see it as threats to their respective oligarchies.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

It is more than just an inconvenience that Japan has such a backward attitude, it is irresponsible and dangerous. People are out there smoking all kinds of untested substitutes for cannabis and getting in accidents, going off their trollies and even dying. All this is ultimately the fault of the police and the authorities and their narrow-minded attitudes. Cannabis is a tried and tested drug over thousands of years.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Pot is just the first step to decline. Just look at the US. After all those state approved pot use, Trump got elected. QED.

-27 ( +6 / -33 )

@gokai_wo_maneku The states that voted to legalize marijuana are liberal states and voted Clinton for the election.

I personally have no interest in using any kind of drugs, I don't even drink. But anyone can see from doing a little bit of research that marijuana is not as harmful as the media portrays it. It's actually safer than alcohol or cigarettes. I think countries should at a minimum legalize medical marijuana.

29 ( +29 / -0 )

But lying on the sidewalk unconscious from too much alcohol isn't as big a deal.

26 ( +27 / -1 )

It is more than just an inconvenience that Japan has such a backward attitude

The world is a big place. It's a bit ethnocentric to call Japan backward because it hasn't liberalized laws that were just liberalized a few weeks ago in the US. By that standard, very country is "backward" in some respects.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

It is more than just an inconvenience that Japan has such a backward attitude, it is irresponsible and dangerous. People are out there smoking all kinds of untested substitutes for cannabis and getting in accidents, going off their trollies and even dying. All this is ultimately the fault of the police and the authorities and their narrow-minded attitudes. Cannabis is a tried and tested drug over thousands of years.

I couldn't agree with you more, perfectly said. It's just sad that the authorities and the politicians don't get it. But yes, the politicians heavily support the tobacco industry to this day (which is something that always mystified me) they can do what they want, they can try to stop people from obtaining hallucinogenics, but the attempt will prove futile, if they can't get a natural substance that people have used for 1000 of years on every continent, they will look for more dangerous alternatives, but I guess the powers that be are not interested in hearing the facts, stats or in depth research worldwide. Ignorance is bliss.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Yes, I would agree, commanteer. Most countries are backward. Undoubtedly so. I tend to think the attitudes to cannabis and gay marriage are good proxies for socially "advanced". When the prevailing attitudes are backed only by prejudice then I think we are right to regard them as ill-considered and, yes, backward, especially in a country that wants to consider itself as - and always touts itself as - advanced. And when psychic or physical harm is being done through ill-considered or spiteful policy then we are doubly right to regard a country as backward.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

This is the first time I recall even seen a discussion of the issue come up in the Japanese media. I'm glad to see it.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

it is “far less addictive or harmful than are alcohol or tobacco.”

Yes, and how often do you hear of people smoking MJ and getting violent? Almost never. Alcohol on the other hand..

That’s why many advanced economies such as the Netherlands and some U.S. states such as Washington and Colorado permit not only medical use, but have decriminalized possession, and other countries, such as Britain and Germany do not penalize possession of small amounts for personal use. In some countries, there are heavier fines for smoking on a public street,” he says. “Only Japan is going against the world currents on this

Exactly. if Japan wants to be respected as a developed nation, it should start behaving like one.

I want to be able to use marijuana.’ He gained a lot of sympathy, but died last July at age 58, before the trial was over

That is a human rights violation and Japan should be taken to the International court of Human Rights over this incident.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

My position that the State causes more harm with its draconian laws than the consumption of the drugs themselves became clear to me when a 19 year-old friend of mine arrested and held incommunicado in a police cell over 5 grams of hashish committed suicide. Mafia gangs flourish worldwide because of Prohibition resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Drug use is a by-product of life in modern society and the near universal human need for some kind of inebriation to bear the burden of existence. Only legalization coupled with enlightened social policies and medical treatment for addicts can eradicate the cartels and restore society to its senses.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Drug use is a by-product of life in modern society

Not just modern society - people have been doing drugs ever since they figured out that some plants cause one to feel good. Pretty much every indigenous culture in the world has a history of usage of mind-altering substances. People have been making alcohol for at least a thousand years, if not more.

And why is the idea of altering one's mind something that is covered by the law in the first place? Who cares if someone wants to make themselves feel different? The whole idea is ridiculous.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"enough cannabis sativa to light up 100 times" What does this even mean?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

After the long hours they work, the Japanese deserve all the fun they can get.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"enough cannabis sativa to light up 100 times" What does this even mean?

Good point. They could have used to to make a bonfire and burned it all at once.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And why is the idea of altering one's mind something that is covered by the law in the first place?

Because sometimes, when you alter your mind you behave antisocially. But then again, if that's the case, why allow alcohol and not MJ, right? Seems to make more sense to have it the other way around.

Who cares if someone wants to make themselves feel different? The whole idea is ridiculous.

Absolutely. And what's even more ridiculous is that a majority of countries ban harmless drugs like MJ but sell booze freely. I've seen fights break out in bars and some men go home drunk and beat their wives. Yet NEVER have I ever seen a bunch of stoners getting into a fight or beating their wives after getting high. Just give a pothead some MJ and they'll go sit in a corner and listen to some Jimmy Hendrix and not bother anyone.

You can die from alcohol poisoning but not from smoking too much pot. Alcohol is addicitive, Pot is habitual at best. Alcohol gives hangovers, leading to diminished production in the workplace, Pot has no morning after. Alcohol can lead to liver disease among an assortment of other illnesses which you don't get from pot.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Socially it is far safer than alcohol. The problem is that governments can't tax it, which is about the only reason it is illegal.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I bet the suicide rate in Japan would decrease if weed was legal. I always ask this, why ban weed but not cigarettes (which are more harmful)? We know how relaxed that laws of cigarette smoking is in Japan.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Japan's draconian marijuana laws against ongoing trends

Well, Japan against ongoing trends in general is not something new...the country is rather oriented to the past or how to revive it than to the future

4 ( +5 / -1 )

commanteerJAN. 07, 2017 - 08:35AM JST The world is a big place. It's a bit ethnocentric to call Japan backward because it hasn't liberalized laws that were just liberalized a few weeks ago in the US. By that standard, very country is "backward" in some respects.

Your point about comparing nations on a forward/backward spectrum is a valid one, but at the same time I think there is room for using the word "backwards" as shorthand for "making public policy not based on the more up-to-date researched evidence but rather based on attitudes grounded in outdated ideas, superstitions, and fear."

StrangerlandJAN. 07, 2017 - 10:36AM JST People have been making alcohol for at least a thousand years, if not more.

Far more. There is a reason humans have a gene that allows us to process alcohol while many other creatures don't - it's because being able to eat fruit where the sugars have partially decomposed into alcohols has been an essential component of our survival. It's proposed by some researchers that human civilization itself started not because agriculture was automatically better for calories/hours worked, but because it allowed us to perfect alcoholic beverages rather than just waiting for some fruit to fall from a tree and rot.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The problem is that governments can't tax it, which is about the only reason it is illegal.

Why not? They're taxing it in places where it's legal.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I must admit, I really don't like stoners at all. Difficult to see though why consumption of marijuana should be a criminal offence though.

Some people with chronic illnesses seem to find it to be helpful. Would hate to see them prosecuted as a result of their use.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

" The problem is that governments can't tax it, which is about the only reason it is illegal." Tell that to the BILLIONS of dollars the enlightened states in the USA collected directly from the sale of weed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Pick up a book on Japanese history and Marijuana... 99.9% of Japanese "laws" are based on some 100 year old issue.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Shigenari Moriyama, who had been actively promoting the use of the weed, praising its effectiveness for anti-aging.

Where's the proof because every pothead I've ever known has always looked older than they were. Maybe on the inside it may slow down aging but on the outside... I call total BS.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

a joint with lunch would make the 12 hour days at the desk job a lot more bearable,,,

7 ( +8 / -1 )

YOU are all missing the big picture.

Marijuana was not illegal in Japan until McArthur became the King of Japan. He illegalized it because his men were so into it. Just like in Korea and Vietnam afterwards. Men in war if not to rape and pillage need to find some other escape.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I prefer Japan to remain without guns and pot and all those other drugs westerners take. McArthur was good for Japan making all that stuff illegal.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

@gokai: You are right. Those ¥100 Aspirin tablets are great. I definitely prefer to pay that for one aspirin for my spouse because of the need for a cheap blood thinner split into three parts.....idiot. Westerners have some great drugs. Baby Aspirin saves lives.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The benefits of medical marijuana / oil for people with cancer and other serious conditions is extremely well documented by numerous examples from around the world for anyone with a search engine access. Since it is relatively inexpensive and effective as treatment for a variety of conditions the big pharma will fight it's legalisation tooth and nail. And anyone who has lived in Japan for a while knows well how powerful the medical / pharmaceutical lobby groups are in this country. Hence the media " outrage " at people caught with small amounts for personal / medical use including patient dying of cancer as the example above. It is truly shameful....all the while addiction / disease causing booze and tobacco ( with J. government being a major shareholder in Japan tobacco..) enjoy some of the lowest prices and availability in the developed world. Shame.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why not? They're taxing it in places where it's legal

It,s called grow your own. If your to lazy to grow it you deserve to pay.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm curious about what people who support legalization think about how it should be used. Smoking anywhere cigarette smoking is allowed?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All in due time things change The cure for cancer is there but denied

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It,s called grow your own. If your to lazy to grow it you deserve to pay.

But you said it cannot be taxed - this answer doesn't explain that. They are taxing it in places where it is sold, so what do you mean by 'it can't be taxed'?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is more than just an inconvenience that Japan has such a backward attitude, it is irresponsible and dangerous. People are out there smoking all kinds of untested substitutes for cannabis and getting in accidents, going off their trollies and even dying. All this is ultimately the fault of the police and the authorities and their narrow-minded attitudes.

Any sources on this? I'm curious.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

People are out there smoking all kinds of untested substitutes for cannabis and getting in accidents, going off their trollies and even dying

No one is forcing anyone to do anything so stupid. If there are people doing that, the ultimate responsibility is surely their own.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@strangerland. How can you tax something that is not sold. Only lazy people would pay tax on it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't mind it being used for medicinal purposes, provided that a) there's legitimately no alternative (something I find doubtful) and b) that they do it in their own homes. It's the recreational users who are the most problematic. I work in a supermarket in a quiet UK town, and yet we frequently get customers coming in absolutely reeking of weed at all hours of the day. Morning, noon and night, any day of the week, we'll get any from 20 to 300 customers coming in blazed. Not only is it a potent and upleasant stench, but there's also the negative side effects that come with cannabis use, namely paranoia. When you have a person who is naturally confrontational and aggressive, and then add a narcotic that can cause serious bouts of paranoia, you get a recipe for trouble. Fights break out, people get hurt, and in a place like this you can be waiting 30 minutes for the police and up to 4 hours for an ambulance.

I don't disagree with Japan's stance on marijuana. I'd hate to see a country of such beauty being poisoned by cannabis the way other countries are. Legalising it for medicinal use is only the beginning, and it's a slippery slope from there. It's best not to invite disaster.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Only lazy people would pay tax on it.

This is like saying only lazy people pay tax on beer, because they don't brew their own. Sure one can brew their own beer, but it's a lot of time and effort, and often what you can buy will be much better than what you can produce.

It's a pretty ridiculous comment. But to get to the main point:

How can you tax something that is not sold.

But they're selling it, so I still don't understand your comment about how they can't tax it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Don't buy it, don't pay tax. Simple economics. Not too hard to understand at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Legalize pot. It'll be as entertaining meeting and talking to the "sky high" as it is to serious inebriati. Not. (cf. Mitchell & Webb's skit)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Fact. A Rat in a cage with nothing but two bottles to drink from. One contained water and sugars. The other cocane and water. The Rat drink form only the cocane laced bottom and died. Drugs kills was the result of the experiment. Another test done by a group of scientist from Portugal. Made a cage with a fun Park, cheese and a partner. plus they provided the same two bottled ( one lace with cocane and the other just water ). both Rat use the cocane bottle rarely and both live for the duration go the test. They provided this evidence with suggestion to the Portugal Government. The most suggestion supported was for complete legalisation of drugs across the board. At the time Portugal had a 1% of the population dependent on Heroin alone. So the Government made all drugs legal. after 12 months, drug use went down by 50%, crime down by 50%. Employment up. Portugal was able to pull itself out of their Euro debt and one the best preforming Countries in Europe

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I prefer Japan to remain without guns and pot and all those other drugs westerners take. McArthur was good for Japan making all that stuff illegal.

You might like to look here, gokai. Japan has a long history of synthesising some of those drugs. And a long history of use, even today.

People will take drugs - just like kids like to spin round and get dizzy and some like to drink to oblivion. Wanna ban that too? It is better that cannabis is allowed than synthetic substitutes which people believe to be similar but which are more dangerous.

But getting this issue mixed up with guns is just intellectually lazy and disingenuous.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methamphetamine#History.2C_society.2C_and_culture

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Don't buy it, don't pay tax. Simple economics. Not too hard to understand at all.

Yeah, I've got that, but I'm not sure why you bring up this point that is irrelevant to your original claim. You claimed the can't charge taxes on it. Sure, people who don't buy it won't be paying taxes, but that's not what we're talking about. You made a claim that something prevents the government from being able to charge taxes on it. What is this barrier that makes it impossible to charge taxes on it, and how do places that do sell it get around this barrier?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Shigenari Moriyama, who had been actively promoting the use of the weed, praising its effectiveness for anti-aging.

Weed should be legal and taxed - but the above is a steaming pile of gibberish. All the long term weed smokers I know are leathery skinned and wrinkled. Not quite as charming as Skin Care by Heroin™ but not far off....

Give the people what they want

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well like Jeff Sessions said, 'Good people don't smoke marijuana...' And if he's good enough to be appointed by an intellectual dynamo like Trump, then that should be good enough for Japan too. Japan basically followed a pea brained western model in terms of the prohibition of marijuana...and when the west gets rid of its backwards thinking politicans and eventually legalizes it across the board Japan will do the same-although with a considerable lag.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I get that it may have some medicinal properties, but of all the people I have ever known who have smoked weed, none have for that purpose, just because they like getting stoned.

From purely an anecdotal point of view, I tend to find people who smoke long term withdrawn, antisocial, judgmental, erratic, and a bit self centered. In short, they make pretty lousy company. Gross generalizations, I know, but I've known plenty of people over the years who have smoked, and there is a certain consistency there.

Do I think it should be legal? I'm happy for it not to be. I'm happy for Japan to retain it's stance on the herb. I don't feel a lack here because there isn't more weed around. Not in the slightest.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

give it time and they will copy the US once they realize how much money they can make and tax https://qz.com/872938/the-biggest-marijuana-grow-facility-in-the-us-isnt-where-you-think-it-would-be/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

From purely an anecdotal point of view, I tend to find people who smoke long term withdrawn, antisocial, judgmental, erratic, and a bit self centered. In short, they make pretty lousy company. Gross generalizations, I know, but I've known plenty of people over the years who have smoked, and there is a certain consistency there.

When I lived in Vancouver, pretty much everyone I knew there smoked, and Vancouver was one of the most laid back cities I've ever lived in. My anecdotal experiences significantly differ from yours.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

When I lived in Vancouver, pretty much everyone I knew there smoked, and Vancouver was one of the most laid back cities I've ever lived in. My anecdotal experiences significantly differ from yours.

Not so much. I lived in Victoria, BC, and quite a few people I knew there smoked also. They were very proud of the BC grown produce, for memory. My comment was focused on long term, fairly heavy users I have known for 25 years, but it was true of a couple of guys I met in Vic too. One guy had burnt his house down after dropping the spliff of an evening, which he talked about freely and often, and with much regret.

But you seem to be attributing the laid back nature of Vancouver to the marijuana usage. Is that the only reason people are laid back there?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From purely an anecdotal point of view, I tend to find people who smoke long term withdrawn, antisocial, judgmental, erratic, and a bit self centered. In short, they make pretty lousy company.

Sounds like me when I am teetotal for too long. You can probably add "boring" to the list too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tamarama: Your comment and your acessment of smoker are 99.9 correct. I have smoke all my life and I am all but erratic and self centred, I hope. Medical is work wonder for my brother who use to fit at least once a week. Since smoking he has not fitted. But has for plain relief No. That like what Brandy, dose wonders for the patient but nothing for the pain. Taking Paracetamol work way better. Most Poster don,t realise that these new laws place on Japanese society by the USA pressure by Companies with there own interest in banning pot. Hemp was grow extensively prior to the end of the war. All the Shinto and elites white clothing ( Asa ) was made from Hemp. Also sail and ropes. The by produce was smoked. Hemp farming was the poorest of all farming. So being unable to buy sake they smoke for their recreation instead of drinking sake. Dupont where behind the changing of the law because they were big into plastic and synthetic clothing and saw Hemp and the quality produce in Japan a direct competitor to Dupont new products.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Yumster100. Well, there is no need to find peer-reviewed evidence back me up in this comments section of JT, nor really my job to find evidence for you. But if you look even cursorily on Wikipedia you can find this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_cannabinoids#Adverse_effects

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Stranger - I'm closer to your anecdotal evidence than the experience of Tamarama, as of course everyones story differs.

My experience growing up in Australia - out of my 9 closest school / uni friends including me, 7 were moderate + users and 4 still occasionally imbibe after many decades. 1 was a very light user in those days and 1 never.

4 of us became teachers - 2 moderate users and the 2 light/non users. One teacher has never stopped - he was an amateur sports champion for 20 years and is now senior school counsellor in a large suburban high school. The other 3 of us have remained teaching too.

Of the other 5 users - 1 now early retired (perks) rose to head of financing at a leading University Hospital( an interesting story was when all hospital staff - 1,000s - were asked to become regular blood donors and of course as a senior he wanted to set a good exapmple - only to be told quietly by the lab that they couldn't accept his blood because there was "wink, wink" something in it )........ 1 (a heavier user - he doesn't drink alcohol) is currently state manger of a leading optical firm and on the Aust. board....... 1 was state manger for an industrial steel firm until taken over and now is on a sickness pension........1 was a mid-level govt worker and he moved to a successful small business after early forced retirement.......1 worked at odd jobs for years after school but had the nouse to get a real-estate agent's license - which has allowed him to work minimally and buy and sell properties for profit for 3 decades - the classic doing it well cruiser.

So yes - everyone has a story, but the mainstream media stories (esp Japan) re marijuana are not representative of all.

Unfortunately the demonizing of marijuana as an extreme, evil drug is just one opinion thrown onto a passive society, which in turns accepts it, while failing to recognize the huge damage done to the well being of millions through the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and prescription / legal drugs.

Dis-information still remains the prerogative of authorities and vested interests.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I believe that the tax issue is one big reason why governments/bureaucrats don't want to take any positive steps. My idea is to allow for personal cultivation ( like any other desirable plant like tomatoes or something) UNTIL someone grows over ten or twenty plants on their own. Don't impose a fine and confiscate ( if it is legal like cucumbers, etc. that would be laughable), just declare the plant a universal human asset like gold is and take a tax on capital gains. Any big grower must declare their understanding that it is also a poison for children, and they should need to get a certification of safety from local government. Obviously, if you are growing so much, you are trading it or giving it away. There is a great Japanese film about a family living on an isolated island. One day, they go to the city and bring with them a big TAI fish. They sell it to a restaurant and use the money to pay for their trip...in a perfect world...When you produce a thing everyone wants, like mini-tomatoes or broccoli or cabbage ( very expensive in Japan right now by the way ), you will always benefit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tax; In Holand you can buy and smoke at government registered cafe,s. The Cafe can not exceed 500 gm at any given time. The ower pay Tax on the profit of the business. Outside these cafe,s drugs are illegal. So the person how delivers the Smoke is braking the law and the grower is braking the law also. This one grower was busted. The Police found out that he has not work for 35 years and never paid tax. The grower was fine $250,000. They estimated that by the haul of Cannabis was a season and ready for sale. So they estimated the value on the crop and tax which would be pay if declared and multiply it by 35 and it work out to be the same has the fine. So the grower never declare his earning. if he did he won,t have to come up with 1/4 of a million dollars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"....Against ongoing trents", well is it rather that the lawmakers are too busy with being reelected than to concern themselves with modern topics?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have to use it daily for dream suppression, a legacy of military experience. For almost 50 years now, - and only had to kill three people today because of Reefer Madness. At last that is what they want you to think. In reality it calms you down without making you sloppy like alcohol does.

I cannot now go long without it, since we have no practical substitutes. Legally allowed to grow by my state, I choose to not do so, because of family concerns. I buy from legal growers who pay taxes.

Given its record, prosecuting folk for having it is neither humane nor indicative of civilized thought.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Marijuana is an aphrodisiac. The Japanese population is currently dwindling and is projected to do so until the population is well under 100 million. Marijuana brings freedom, confidence, economic prosperity, and will solve the birthrate problem.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Still freely available in Roppongi (for example). just costs double or more what you would pay in an EU country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some people might find this illuminating: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/cannabis.aspx

Personally I think only those who need it for medicinal purposes should be using it. Like booze and cigs it's like a crutch... if you need it to wind down, then you need to change your lifestyle and take up a hobby.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

if you need it to wind down, then you need to change your lifestyle and take up a hobby.

Why? What exactly is the problem if someone wants to have a drink or smoke a joint after work to relax? What specifically is this complaint people have about those who want to alter their mind? What is fundamentally wrong with altering one's mind?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Strangerland No way pot makes you Liberal and a communist! :P Strange that the naysayers always say how pot will turn the country into anarchy, Holland has lenient drug laws since the 1970's the country is still going strong as far as i know.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does everyone like the "smell" of this Drug? It is the most "hideous odour" Imhave ever run across. Many years ago (1960's) I had a crew doing Geological Work for me in Northern British Columbia and I could not figure out where these guys would go during the work day. One day I followed them out and too my amassment they all ended up at the same spot. When I got them all together I found out they were smoking Marijuana. What a disappointment, all the work that they were suppose to have done over a couple of months had to be redone. I really don't believe this Marijuana situation is going to help anyone!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does everyone like the "smell" of this Drug?

Love it! Smells great.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Marijuana, tobacco & alcohol -- how much better our world would be if they were gone. God only knows the misery they have caused the human family. Winston Churchill said, in regard to alcohol, "I got more out of it than it got out of me." Hardly anyone is that fortunate.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If only Takagi had proposed an "integrated weed resort" for Ishigaki.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just make sure your better half (if you have one) doesn`t mind that you toke. If he/she does it can be a bit of a problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some people might find this illuminating:

Sorry, the report lost any credibility with:

about 2.3 million 16-59 year-olds have reported using cannabis in the past year. Frequent use of cannabis is about twice as likely amongst young people, and nearly 5.3 million 16-24 year-olds have used it in the last year.

What else hasn't been checked?

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If a "trend starts" does that mean everyone has to join it? Smoking "marijuana" sure is not going to help this World. Only "losers" would jump to that kind of a excuse!

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No reason to legalize something that is not a problem. There are alaways a few people who want to push the envelope no matter how or what is legal.

If all of you legalization supporters are serious, you should be looking at stimulants, not pot. Stimulants are the real problem drug in Japan, and yet still nowhere near what they are in the west.

Perhaps alcohol and Japan's jidaiokure are actually a blessing in disguise. This whole legalize pot in Japan thing is a non-issue. Just another excuse for some to get wasted.

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What a lot of people may not know is that it was the Americans that made cannabis illegal in Japan during the occupation. As long as it's illegal in the US, it will be illegal here. Japan does want be seen as going against the US on the drug war.

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"On Oct 25, former actress Maya Takagi was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana."

Her name is Saya Takagi, not Maya.

Moderator: Thanks for pointing that out. It has been corrected.

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Marijuana use is forbidden in Japan. As an employee at a major English publishing company, one that owns the rights to use Disney characters in its DVD, CD, and book products, it is interesting that my former manager KS and assistant manager JS both of whom are still employed by the company used marijuana during work hours. These people are responsible for ensuring the safety of children but they are using an illegal substance. It is unforgivable!

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