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Japan goes up in marijuana smoke

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By Rena Singer

Japan appears to be in the midst of a marijuana epidemic of unprecedented proportions.

In the past six months alone, four sumo wrestlers have been kicked out of the sport for using the drug and a player on the national rugby team was banned for life. In addition, police have arrested a rock star and staged high-profile raids at some of the nation’s top universities, arresting students and confiscating Ziploc bags full of suspicious substances.

To many non-Japanese, the thought of sumo wrestlers smoking weed to foster the munchies and pack on the pounds may seem like the punch-line of a joke. And the idea of rock stars or university students partying with illicit drugs hardly seems scandalous in celebrity circles or on university campuses.

But in Japan, these incidents have shocked the nation. They received front-page coverage. And they prompted television exposes and editorials like the recent one in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper that said, "Our incipient cannabis pollution must be contained at all costs."

The penalty for the possession and use of marijuana in Japan is severe — not only in terms of prison time (Paul McCartney famously spent 10 nights in jail here after being arrested for possession in 1980). When a player for Japan's national rugby team tested positive for marijuana last month, he was banned from the national team forever and the professional team he also plays on, sponsored by electronics maker Toshiba, has suspended all team activities until the end of March and has withdrawn from the ongoing national championship out of shame. Smoke on that, Michael Phelps.

Late last year, after four Waseda University students were arrested for marijuana possession, university administrators called a press conference, bowed deeply to the dozens of reporters assembled and issued a formal apology. “We are sorry for causing so much trouble,” Tomoki Waragai, the humiliated executive director of the university, told reporters.

They vowed to conduct a comprehensive survey of the student body to determine the extent of the problem. And university administrators sent an email to all students warning them that students “foolish enough” to try marijuana “all too often end up physically and mentally ruined, perhaps leading lives of crime. There is no ‘innocent’ or ‘harmless’ way to take illegal drugs. In Japan, possession alone is sufficient to lead to the most dire of social punishments. Engaging in drug-related activity is utter stupidity.”

This comes at a time when Japanese society’s whole-hearted acceptance of another mind-altering substance — alcohol — is at center stage. Recent events highlight the contradiction between this country’s treatment of marijuana and its treatment of alcohol. The same week that the rugby team pulled out of the championship because one of its members used marijuana, Japan’s Minister of Finance Shoichi Nakagawa stole the limelight at an otherwise staid press conference at the G-7 meeting in Rome with this apparently drunken behavior, now a viral hit on YouTube.

After the debacle, Prime Minister Taro Aso initially stood by Nakagawa and only accepted his resignation three days later, when opposition parties complained that Nakagawa’s behavior had embarrassed the nation.

“Attitudes towards alcohol are incredibly lax here,” explained Jeffrey Kingston, the director of Temple University’s Japan Campus. “Alcohol facilitates the frank exchange of opinions and views in a society where communication can be quite stilted.”

In this conformist society, seemingly laden with rules about everything, says Kingston, alcohol is the acceptable method for relaxation. “There is no wiggle room on this.”

So alcohol, even hard liquor, is on offer from vending machines throughout Japan’s cities in the same way vending machines offer Doritos in the U.S. And public drunkenness is considered normal. So much so that Tokyo’s late night trains are populated night after night by masses of inebriated businessmen, many of whom have to be physically removed from the train after passing out.

The National Police Agency declined to comment for this story, other than to point to crime statistics. In 2003, just over 2,000 people were arrested for marijuana-related crimes. Last year’s figure, though not yet final, is expected to top 2,800. Although the number is clearly on the rise, drug use here remains far below the levels in the U.S. or Europe. Polls in the U.S. indicated that 46% of Americans say they have tried banned substances. In Japan, the figure is only 3%.

Police are quick to point out that increasing numbers of Japanese — including in one instance a Buddhist monk — are trying their hand at cannabis cultivation. The number of green thumbs arrested for cultivation has doubled in the last decade. But the total number of arrests for that crime still doesn’t top 200 per year.

The Asahi Shimbun editorial explained, “surely, we don’t need to try to catch up with the west in drug use.”

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49 Comments
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This place is backwards sometimes. Pot does not lead to criminal activity. It is a very safe drug, lots of fun, and should be made legal agaiin. The Americans made it illegal after WWII

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I think legalizing marijuana would reduce the number of suicides per year. I also think people would be a lot happier as well as more outgoing. It is one reason why alcohol is so popular but unlike alcohol it much healthier.

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Nice little write up and read another story in Asahi. Booze is big in the Far East and that will never change. Asahi even foot the bill for the WBC and 90% of the commercials was beer, beer and some celeb promoting it. As for me in Osaka and on the train from 10-11PM...is a sight. My guess half may be hardened alcoholics and yours truly wished he could stop weekend drinks. What I could never figure out... do they actually get in the bath wasted at night? Anyway, most of the LDP are hard boozers and smokers and I really see no change in the alcohol scene until these guys are out the door. They should stop selling the piss at 12AM like some US states but even I made a beer run at 2AM like 50 times. To me.. many Japanese dont work hard, they drink hard and thats what makes their famous 12 hour day with the fag breaks as a bonus. Maybe it would be good if men rushed home and took a magic puff and hanged with the fam rather than hit the daily bar with the same people you work with day in and day out for 25 yrs.....? As for us yanks...we even make movies of stoners...Pineapple Express I guess wont show here, lol? I would also love to know the daily sales number of alcohol for one day here? In the end I still love beer and if I would love Phelps to stop by with his bong.

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all too often end up physically and mentally ruined, perhaps leading lives of crime

Not a shred of evidence for this. Of course it doesn't matter. In Japan, reality is whatever the authorities say it is. The puppet masters know that pot is a substance that often helps open the minds of those who are looking for that, encourages creativity and thinking outside the box. Thinking outside the box is not what Japan's leaders want. If Waseda and the old boys' network were serious about protecting Japan's physical, mental, and social health, they might consider condemning alcohol first. Alcohol abuse leads millions down a sad road of divorce, domestic abuse, vandalism, financial ruin, rape, chronic health problems, etc.

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The lesson for today marijuana BAD! Alcohol GOOD! hence the important after work activity the drinking party

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I like this bit...........“Alcohol facilitates the frank exchange of opinions and views in a society where communication can be quite stilted"

Come on guys, take a couple of good tokes on top skank and see where your communication goes then. Not only will you love each other - as you do when pissed - but you start to understand each other a bit more. And boy, does it make those tunes on the Yamamto line sound good.

Not quite a Mary Jane crisis yet. But if only it could be the late train ride home would be so much......cruisier.

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alcohol to loosen the tongue is paper over the cracks over social interaction in japan

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Americans didn't make it illegal. Stop looking more reasons to feed your lame national inferiority complex.

idiots

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Asahi Shimbun newspaper that said, “Our incipient cannabis pollution must be contained at all costs.”

I think what the Asahi Shimbun is trying to say here is DONT EXHALE!!!

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Seriously, what happens when people are idle and bored is that quite often they abuse substances. Never mind when people are depressed. One thing cannabis can do for you is calm the nerves and numb the pain, alcohol will do the same, but that's not banned. Take too much cannabis and hallucinations set in, plenty of prescription medicines in excessive quantities will do the same, and a lot in excessive quantities will likely kill you. Cannabis won't kill you, at least not unless you accidently burn your house down while stoned.

So why ban it? Sure, there are well documented negative outcomes from excessive use, and long term cannabis use. But there is the same recorded evidence that tells us excessive use, and long term indulgance in fast foods will also prove extremely detrimental to ones health.

No, the real reason is political. Cannabis and cannabis users together amount to a political football that's been kicked around since at least the 1940's. The ban came a decade or so later. The banning of cannabis use hasn't been around too long in the West. For politicians the existence of laws against illicit drugs is a pure gift. Remember if you will, there was not so long ago The War Against Drugs. It was never won, but boy did politicians make careers out of it. Prisons were built, paramilitaries formed, and as a result and not surprisingly really, entire economies have been built thanks to The War Against Drugs.

In this case, in Japan, the media walks hand in hand with the politicians who legislate these inane laws. But it is with a purpose. In tough economic times politicians turn to crime to take the focus away from themselves and their profit making on the backs of the peoples' misery. If you can't find an available group of criminals (that are not politically 'involved) then create one. This is what is going on here, now.

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What every you say, you have to take into account that people here will take things to excess if ever it became legal. Regulation would just about be impossible. Kinen time would take on a whole new meaning. Would you allow it in ones own home but not in public? How about for train drivers. Would they be allowed to do so in their private time? Japan runs on such a tight schedule (safety wise as well as time wise) that introducing this into mainstream would definitely clog up the works for the masses. No, if they want to smoke the stuff, make it legal only in Hokkaido, or other such out of the way places. come to think of it, maybe making it legal only in country areas (Fukushima Pref) for example. would be a good way to attract tourists and natives on holidays, along with the natural items of konyaku (devils tongue). Devils tongue and Heavens breath, or some such combination of "local branding." But please not on the trains, or by the train drivers.

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How come there are no Japanese stoner movies? I have the most brilliant idea for one, one that involves vampires vs zombies, wait, what are we talking about again?

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Yeah right...Japan has an mj problem...geez,it has a lot of problems,but that is laughable.

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Har Har a marijuana epedemic..... I nearly pissed myself when I read the first line. There is a lot less drug use here than in the states but it certainly exists. I came here in 1997 and if you want to smoke pot it is no more or less available than it was then. The nation at least the people I know are not shocked by any of these "scandals"

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there is no more or less marijuana in Japan now than years ago, just more people creating a panic about it to sell newspapers, demonize foreigners and take the heat away from far more important issues as politicians are prone to do.

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I am really confused on why this is a debate. Marijuana is addictive. If someone says there isn't any evidence to this, he or she isn't looking for it or doesn't want to look for it, or is able to moderate their intake and wants to ease their efforts in obtaining it.

Evidence researched:

http://www.nida.nih.gov/ResearchReports/Marijuana/Marijuana4.html

When it comes down to it, majority rules. If the majority of the population was smoking marijuana, we wouldn't be having this debate. The fact is, the majority of people know that marijuana use is not good for the body.

Throwing a political spin on it makes this debate more interesting. If we took it the other way and political candidates were building their campaign on the legalization of marijuana use, we all know who their voters would be. And they would be the minority. Time will tell when that will change.

Just to let everyone know, I've had friends whose lives and families were destroyed by marijuana addiction. It really does affect society negatively. And we question why Japan authorities are making swift responses? In no way do I look down on those who decide to use it, because it is their choice.

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This place is backwards sometimes. Pot does not lead to criminal activity. It is a very safe drug, lots of fun, and should be made legal agaiin. The Americans made it illegal after WWII

Problem is that MJ can be the first step in a ladder that in most cases will lead to violence. After MJ, soon comes ecstasy, and later the two together, then coke...and so on.

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lmao, This has got to be a joke. I truely can not understand the logic behind the views of alcohol and marijuana. How can it be possible to compare alcohol and marijuana and the conclusion come to be that alcohol is a much better and more accepted thing to do? What is wrong with this picture? And, to top it all off, as bad as things are in japan and the rest of the world. how can this be a top priority? What about all the suicides,the economy, the issues with the hospitals, these are all way more important issues than marijuana. This is just silly!!

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I agree with francisco and also with urufuls. MJ smoking issue is not more important than the others, but it is important to get straight on the facts. And that's one thing MJ smokers or smokers of anything which requires a lighter (definition of smoking). Smokers of all kinds never confront their addictions. The (sad) joke is, "stopping smoking is easy. I've done it 1000 times." But its not easy or funny for people who hate smoke and hate 2nd hand smoke, not only in their mind, but in their own lungs and in their teeth, and on their clothes, their suits, their hair, or their food cooked by a smoker who's hands often wreak of smoke. Smoking IS and issue of importance. It has more degrading, nasty habits than the smoker comes clean about. And its more addictive than alcohol because you need it for how many breathes during the day....from morning to night? A chain smoking friend of mine said the other day, "I can only go 6 minutes without smoking a cigarette....and at night time I have to wake up every 3 hours or so to have a smoke." Hello? But believe me, I've talked and talked and pleaded with smokers of all things for years and its all in vain. You can't tell a smoker not to smoke. They will give up almost anything BUT their "right" (ie addiction). And here in lies the problem for society that you and I live in. We are confronted with their addiction whether we like it or not. But like someone says above, the majority DON'T like the smokers issue. That's why we have kinen time at the train stations. It is a relatively recent development/action by the way. And now if you watch Japan Tobacco commercials on the trains/tv etc. you'd think they're the next best environmental group after hybrid car makers. All the while, the smoking material they continue to sell, and sell in groves damages the poor addicted smokers lungs. Let those who want to destroy their health have the right, but protect the populace from those perverse ways of "getting satisfaction." It'll take years from now on to "weed out" the actual problem, but by keeping it in check (i.e. illegal for MJ) and getting stricter about tobacco, we at least have a fighting chance. Longer live a smoke free society. And I'm sure the big, fat cigar smoking population will have a feast on this post in the name of freedom and liberties. That's what smokers always do, as they inhale on whatever it is they're sucking. Their ARE better ways.

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urufuls,

How many people die each year from marijuana overdose?

So as long as the majority ruled in favor of slavery then it was acceptable? And don't give me that crap slavery doesn't compare to the freedom to smoke marijuana. Because if your majority rules argument fails in one case then it falls flat on its face. Majority rule does not mean squat as to the fairness of a law.

Bloody Puritans and their prostitution, weed and pornography laws; they know nothing about justice.

I've had friends who smoked weed for 20 years or more and they still aren't addicted.

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Riiiiiiiighht. The "i've had friends" line above is exactly what I'm referring to in the "I've quit 1000 times".......Good luck to all. And to all a good night.

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isthistheend you're comparing mj to tobacco?

I think it's you that needs to get facts straight. Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs known to man (and yes I do smoke, not trying to get the high ground here). Scientific fact, marijuana has been known to cause lung cancer in heavy users, but it has not been shown to be as physically addictive as other drugs (including alcohol and caffeine) and moderate smokers have shown little effects other than slight loss of short term memory.

Again I do smoke (tobacco) and ironically I totally agree with your assessment of THAT drug. Marijuana however is a completely different drug and different rules apply. An average tobacco smoker can consume up to 20 or more cigarettes a day. Even a heavy Marijuana smoker rarely consumes more than two (and that's pretty heavy.)

I'm not saying marijuana is good, how can it be, but it is in the same ball game as alcohol and tabacco (some may argue tabacoo is worse). Because it is harmful yet safe in moderation, it should be legalised and put under STRICT regulation and tax by the government, as well as education.

Prohibition hasn't worked before, doesn't work now, and will never work. Only when it is legalized will any headway be made.

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There has been a lot of research concerning cannibus since the 1960's. We now have much more information about the substance than before, especially concerning it's affect on neurotransmitters in the brain. Yes, THC is addictive, smoking it is more harmful than tobacco, and it does affect a persons lifestyle, productivity, and physical health. As mentioned in several posts, substance abuse in Japan is the rule rather than the exception, and has been for many decades. THC, like alcohol, is a gateway drug, and likely will lead to the use of other illicit drugs. Japan is the most addicted society I have ever seen. Let's review just a few addictions in Japan just for the readers:

Alcohol, Tobacco, Illicit drugs, workaholics...sound familiar? I don't say these things to berate Japan, these are just observations. Articles in JT over the last few days underline the social breakdown of Japan in that Japan has the highest suicide rate of the wealthy industrialized nations, instances of domestic violence are soaring, sexual harassment is unrestrained, and the root of this is in the national rate of substance abuse. The statistics speak for themselves.

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I understand how non-smokers feel about the tabacco smoking issue. I am one of those non-smokers. But, When was the last time you got second hand smoke from MJ? MJ smokers do it in the privacy of their own homes(the smarter ones anyway). Tabacco is way more harmful and destructive than MJ. MJ is in no way addictive, it may be habit forming but by no means addictive, on the other hand, tabacco is both addictive and habit forming. Same goes with alcohol.

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sharky1, agreed almost entirely. Almost.

Marjuanna has been shown to be more harmful to the lung per dose than tobacco but the difference is it is rare to find even a heavy marijuana smoker who smokes more than two or three joints a day. A average tobacco smoker will smoke ten times as many. Also I only believe THC is a gateway drug because at present, it's in the hands of criminals, who DO have access to harder and more dangerous drugs.

However I agree it seems Japan seems to have a problem with drugs (either legal or illegal). I put this more down to lifestyle (Tokyo area anyway) than anything else. Here, on JapanToday, it was reported almost 45% of people in the Tokyo area needed alcohol or sleeping pills to get to sleep.

Maybe rather than demonizing drugs, we should take a look at why people take them. Stress, busy lives, insomnia are all factors, in my opinion. Maybe if people lived less busy schedules and took the time to unwind naturally, maybe many wouldn't need drugs at all, legal or illegal.

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I've had friends who smoked weed for 20 years or more and they still aren't addicted.

how is that not an addiction, 20 years?

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Maybe rather than demonizing drugs, we should take a look at why people take them.

exactly, address the root of the problem instead of attacking the symptom(s)

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Just because a person smokes weed for 20 years does not mean they are addicted. By that definition, the fact that I've been eating toast for breakfast for 20 years makes me addicted to toast. Tobacco and alcohol are much more harmful to the body and they are addictive!

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You are kidding right? There is no significant drug problem in Japan. Period.

Legalize it. Tax it. Control it. And everyone can be happy. You do this cigarretes and alcohol and both of those kill millions. So what is the problem with weed? It is no better and no worst.

Quit wasting money on this and spend that law enforcement and press energy on something that really matters. But then again that would mean the authorities would have to solve real problems and the media would need to think of real topics with importance to write about.

Going up in smoke? Not really. Going up in pointless distractions while the nations burns. Every heard of Nero?

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were this a real drug problem they'd be shootings and killings. With mary jane you get pillow fights and kids with munchies. To really compare Japan's drug problems with anyone else is really quite laughable. The zero tolerance attitude to it while alcohol destroys more lives is an ironic joke that perhaps could be addressed.

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Wish some aliens would come to earth and eliminate all alcohol, drugs, gambling, and other quick fix diversions (long term destruction) we use to try to escape from reality. People need to take some responsibility for their lives!! Get healthy, get a job you really like, learn to be a good friend/spouse/co-worker/etc. Find some purpose and meaning in your life so you wont have to depend on alcohol, drugs, and gambling to feeling something in your lives.

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Let's face it, marijuana makes you feel good and relaxed. Now the J authorities cetainly don't want that do they? They want total control over the masses. They want salaryman doing 15 hour days with no holidays or overtime pay. Marijuana would ruin all their plans. And allowing alcohol is just a sop to the masses.

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I don't think there is an increase in the use of marijuana, I think recently the Japanese Police are just cracking down, and looking for the dope. Therefore more people are getting caught and creating the effect that drug use is rampant everywhere. Before they just used to turn a blind eye.

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WOW. Some people are really tight and have no clue about marijuana. Maybe you should try it first before talking about it--especially referring to it as a drug and then as a gateway drug. That gateway thinking has been around since the 60s and has been disproven for the most part. The fact is that people dont jump to another drug because of marijuana but because of curiosity or being in that place where drugs are available. Yes if you smoke marijuana you may come across more people in that domain and will be more likely to try something else. In terms of gateway drug we could say it this way but that is so weak. Alcohol would be a gaetway drug too in that sense since many of the bars and clubs serve only alcohol and then there are drugs being sold to these drunk people--true but weak. If marijuana did not exist more people would take cocaine and crack and speed etc. In this sense marijuana is the 'drug' to prevent others from taking other drugs--it is the gateway away from all those bad drugs. Marijuana is a herb and a medicine and is only a drug if it becomes abused and is used for just pleasure. In ancient Indian teachings we say one should not do Bhoga without Yoga--bhoga is the pleasure activities and yoga is like the training of the mind and body. For those who just smoke marijuana and do not respect it and engage in criminal activities then they are causing disjustice to the rest of the 'good' smokers. There are many screwed up drunks and many more than what you would see if people smoked marijane instead.

People should not depend on marijuana or whatever but the fact is that people have so many variables in life to deal with and it is not so easy to just say go and become a nutty puritan. I should tell you to wake up early in the morning and make sure you go to the bathroom to clean your stools from your body, otherwise the gases will build up and you will never become healthy. How many people wake up late? Lazy people...so many things and then those same people tell us not to smoke and be good. hypocrites.

I have smoke for many years--since high school and i have become successful. Maybe i would have been more successful if i didnt smoke and that is likely because smoking pot has one problem and that is that it makes most people lazy and drives away the capitalism feeling or job related feelings. Maybe that is fine if you do not want to become a power hungry money making machine.

In India many saints smoke pot. Pot grows everywhere in the countryside. It is a religion and the herb of Shiva. Very holy.

On that subject--I am going to grow about 15 plants or whatever the limit is here in California. Pot is legal in Calif.--especially for medical use. They are talking about taxing it here. I love the smell of the plants and the beauty of it. If you grow up in Japan which is intolerable to drugs then your mind/brain gets conditioned to think the way the society thinks.

everyone in Japan should smoke a joint once in a while--except it is not needed by women for the most part since pot makes you more feminine and men need that.

there are those who are in the know and those who just need to wake up and smell the plants.

ps. I am not addicted to pot--when i come to japan i never have withdrawal symptoms. i just like to smoke so i end up smoking more tobacco. now that is a very bad addiction--i have tried to stop so many times--it is not as bad as heroin but it is just as addictive--actually more addictive than heroin but that is mainly because tobacco is such a light drug.

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Just leagalise it, regulate it to get rid of the organised crime it generates. Like prostitution, no amount of government spending on policing and the justice system will make it go away. Better to have it, and keep it controlled. Besides imagine the stock prices of JT and PM if they added hooch to the range of products they are regulated to sell.

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I say again. Never expect common sense about smoking from a smoker. What nobody has mentioned is how devastaing ALL smoke is to ones precious lungs, heart, teeth, stomach, and blood pressure. But especially one's lungs. And also, nobody mentions the hypoglycemia factor of MJ which leads to the munchies. It doesn't matter whether you smoke 1 TOKE or 1 whole stoggie, when you come down, your metabolism demands a hit of something particularly YIN like sugar, or ice cream and not just a bite or two, but an OVERDOSE, consumption, consumption, consumption. And for the young, fast foods are the convenient target to satisfy this expanded URGE. 0 After overeating (gorging), a negative cycle is very prone. Especially in younger people since they can eat more and discharge more energy. I'm not for castigating all those who smoke MJ, but I am saying we need to be more upfront and above board on ALL the Issues concerning it, and teach THEM ALL to young people, not just categorizing it as a liberty vs puritanism debate. Very real physical ramifications will develop with continued MJ smoking. Don't go off on a tangent and get caught up on whethter is addictive or not. More importantly, there are other things we can do to lead a creative life than smoke dope. Especially among young people. That's my point. Let's be more careful/attentive/inquisitive about other cultures activities for example, and not be so naive as to think lighting it up is going to solve your daily problems or lead to nirvana etc. The insights you get from MJ very quickly fade, until you take another toke and then the cycle kicks in. If you are enthusiastic about improving on any physical talent, like music or sports and think it can help you, that too is just short lived, though maybe good for a song or two. O.K. I'll concede the sudden or short burst for creativity. But the overall picture is just not that good. Weigh the WHOLE picture. Like the song says, "What comes up, must come down, spinning wheel's got to go around"... And about no second hand MJ smoke? Come ON. You can smell it for a half a block away, and it does affect others. Bless you all.

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wtfdude maybe the movie Tokyo zombie could be classified as a Stoner movie?

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have you ever gotten really drunk? the next morning, you want to die. the day after smoking a joint, you feel like you had the best sleep of your life. but yeah, we should stop THAT. "i read it was bad for you, and is a gateway drug." get real. you are the same people who were trying to stop the hippies in america in the 60's. weed is illegal in certain places because of FEAR, RELIGION, OLD GUYS who never smoked a j, and TRADITION. people don't want to break that tradition, even if it makes people feel good. much of the time, people who are drunk can't even walk straight, they vomit, pass out, or start fights. i have never in my life seen a person who is stoned, do any of these actions. that is how backward these laws are.

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Hello deh, this is your hippy dippy George Carlin weather man speaking. It could also be Yul Brennar on his death bed. We are not equivocating smoking MJ with alcohol binge drinking. I'm just trying to communicate that as good and satisfying as the ol MJ buzz feels, trouble awaits the repeating smoker (ever heard of a one and done one?) There are much better alternatives for you and your HEALTH but it takes alot of dedication and effort to find these other things, including good diet, good physical activity, good love making, good mental habits, good livelihood etc. Certainly not easy in this day and age, but still very possible...with effort and a higher standard for ones life. Limiting yourself to a lighter ignited (anything MJ included) high is an easy choice, but not so easy to stop once started. If and when you do break free of your smoking, you'll realize that many alternatives are actually better for you and make you more happy than the continuous conversation inside your brain tugging for you to "let's get high." You'll find ways that make you continually high, without the damage to your lungs. Wouldn't that be a nice scenerio?

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goodDonkey

How many people die each year from marijuana overdose?

I found a site that said out of 664 marijuana related deaths, there were 187 deaths where marijuana was the only drug reported.

http://www.drugwatch.org/Truth_Marijuana_Hemp.htm

That's not because of overdose, but deaths related with it. The only way that someone could die from overdose is probably asphyxiation :).

So as long as the majority ruled in favor of slavery then it was acceptable? And don't give me that crap slavery doesn't compare to the freedom to smoke marijuana. Because if your majority rules argument fails in one case then it falls flat on its face. Majority rule does not mean squat as to the fairness of a law.

Well, slavery continued for a while didn't it? You've actually further supported my point. I see your point that even though the majority knows that marijuana (or slavery for that matter) is bad, it may not stop the minority from touting its benefits. No one is saying either are acceptable. You are correct in your assessment. And I believe that the scales will change and smoking marijuana will probably be legalized. Although I believe that is a mistake.

Now, there are benefits derived from marijuana. It's called THC. So the whole idea trying to push this whole medical marijuana thing is debunked, because the same medication can come from this pill.

Bloody Puritans and their prostitution, weed and pornography laws; they know nothing about justice.

Pornography: more addictive than marijuana. Does someone's opinion that these two things are destructive in society make one a Puritan, and a bloody one at that?

I've had friends who smoked weed for 20 years or more and they still aren't addicted.

I'm sure there are those who can moderate their intake. 20 years though?

I'm sure you were saying the same thing at 5 years. And again at 10 years. And again at 15 years. I challenge them to try and quit it for 1 year.

goodDonkey, I have no malice toward you or anyone on this debate who smoke marijuana. I just have an opinion (backed up by facts) and I feel strongly about it.

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Here's that site again

http://www.drugwatch.org/Truth(underscore)Marijuana(underscore)Hemp.htm

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There is a great fear about what can happen with the society if everybody smoke marijuana. There are far more deaths due to alcohol and tabacco consumption... I dont smoke MJ nor I am willing to do it, but that is every person decision. I really dont see why the Government should get into my house and tell me that I cant do something I want to do, without harming anybody else nor disturbing social peace. In my house, I should be able to do what I want. Period.

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Hey Iarguero, except you shouldn't be allowed to make sarin or anthrax and other such things, right?

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What's the story here? Japan has always had a huge consumption of the weed. Heck west Japan produces more of the stuff than Jamaica!

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Ever been to Izu?

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Larguero, i agree "In my house, I should be able to do what I want. Period."

But, yes always a but lol drugs are Bad. Alcohol is a poison but doesnt stop anybody (even me) lol I think people need to learn to feel good without drugs or alcohol, you don't need it to have a good time.. you don't need it to feel happy, those who rely on it feel as though they do, but they are kidding themselves. Drugs unless for medical use are all bad. Alcohol should be used rarely and just for a drink with friends.. not "lets get pissed yeeeehhh!!" lol.

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Hey Iarguero, except you shouldn't be allowed to make sarin or anthrax and other such things, right?

let people make them. it's using them to attack other people in public that would be the problem!

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jonnyboy, why make these poisons but to create a dangerous and probably fatal situation for someone else? Are you saying that the right of exercising your personal freedom inside your own house is the most important right of your human life? Even if you live with other relatives or members of your own created family? How about their rights to enjoy the security of safety from such above named poisons? Sounds like its time to clean your bong.

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Somebody who's sitting at home smoking marijuana is no threat to anyone else. Marijuana is not a poison, like some people are saying. It would take physically impossible concentrations of marijuana smoke to cause anything resembling an overdose. Nicotine and alcohol, however, are very real poisons. Yet they're legal in most places. The arguments for keeping marijuana illegal are all very weak, from "it's bad for you" (many legal things, such as McDonalds, are), to "if everyone smoked no work would get done" (the same thing can be said about drinking alcohol). Ultimately, the argument against marijuana use comes down to one group of people (who think it's bad) trying to impose their morals/opinions/beliefs on others. Which is more destructive to a person's life: 1. Smoking marijuana occasionally, which MAY make them lazy (or lazier, since it doesn't change your core personality), or 2. taking a person to jail, so that they lose their job, and putting their kids into protective custody? Seriously, why are some people unable to look at this objectively in that way? If I want to eat a Big Mac every day and die of a heart attack by next year, that's my choice. The same way, if I want to sit down and smoke marijuana occasionally in my room, where I'm not doing anybody any harm, that would also be my choice. It's the same basic thing. I heard someone once say that legalizing marijuana would be like legalizing murder. Sadly, this kind of irrational logic is at the forefront of the fight against marijuana and most politicians are too spineless and out of touch to go against it.

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