Japan Today

Japanese gov't to ease prohibition of cannabis-derived medicines

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Following months of discussion, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is set to approve the use of pharmaceuticals containing cannabis as an ingredient in Japan, according to public broadcaster NHK.

The Japanese legal system takes a particularly hardline stance against drugs, and even the possession of a small amount of marijuana is generally treated as a major crime. However, following the approval of cannabis-based medicines in many other nations, at the beginning of the year the ministry formed a committee to discuss whether Japan should follow suit, with the effectiveness of such medications in treating sufferers of refractory epilepsy and as a pain suppressant for cancer patients.

The allowance will require amendments to Japan’s Cannabis Control Law, which currently forbids the use and importation of such medicines. Lifting the prohibition would ostensibly also allow Japanese pharmaceutical makers, with proper licensing, to produce cannabis-based medications of their own.

However, this doesn’t mean that the substance is going to be decriminalized in all forms and applications. It’s likely that the revision will allow for the use of cannabis only for specific medical conditions, and “anxiety” may not qualify, given the Japanese medical system’s comparative aversion to treating mental health issues with medication. Likewise, the lifting of the ban will not allow international travelers to bring as large a supply of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals as they want into Japan, much as how you can’t get through customs with a suitcase full of any other meds that require a prescription within Japan.

It’s also important to bear in mind that the revision appears to be specifically for cannabis-based medicines, not marijuana leaves, and strictly for legitimate medical purposes. Recreational marijuana use in Japan will still get you in as much trouble as it did before, and possibly even more. Possession and cultivation of marijuana are already crimes in Japan, and the ministry is considering amending the Cannabis Control Law to make the act itself of smoking marijuana a crime as well, at the same time that it lifts the ban on cannabis-based medicines.

Source: NHK News Web

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Osaka YouTubers’ stupid plan to live-stream marijuana dealer’s arrest backfires, stupidly

-- Speaking positively about marijuana online leads to arrest of Japanese man and woman

© SoraNews24

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This MIGHT be a step in the right direction but I have my doubts.

Why? Because this is allowing "pharmaceuticals containing cannabis as an ingredient" and well, when you allow pharmaceutical companies that control they become incentivized to stop actual natural products from coming into the market.

And studies, as well as--cough cough--years of personal experience, show that the natural product is better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ianMay 17  04:25 pm JST

It's a start at least

Catching up with the 21st century now. In Canada all uses of cannabis is legal but it is regulated like alcohol is. No DUI, no public open air use. it's now a big business in Canada, esp. for the Native Canadian/First Nations farmers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hilarity + Ignorance = Sadness. The sadness of watching a hierarchy of 'leaders' one would expect to be learning from others' experience. The exact same baby steps occurred in Oregon, USA, 23 YEARS AGO, by vote of the People of Oregon, not a terrified legislature! And everywhere else over years, each time, the same baby steps as the brain-stopped officials in the other places are finally booted out and sanity breaks out in that area. Is it some sort of lawmaker commonality that watching other peoples' experiences and learning from them is verboten? That maintaining policies which seriously hurt people regarding a substance which the educated World knows to be unfairly and dishonestly disparaged (as at last acknowledged here) is better than admitting error in one's beliefs? Will the Diet require 'Human Trials' and ignore the implicit testimony of the many millions of people who currently derive relief from Mota, not the least of which is what is does for the senescent (old folks) in improving DAILY QoL (Quality of Life). Does Nihon REALLY have to go through the same dumb steps that only dimly aware legislators seem to find necessary before thay can admit their mistake which has cost so many so much? In Oregon, it required the People to stand up and overrule the law makers. Is that even possible in Nihon?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"pharmaceuticals containing cannabis" is an almost meaningless set of words for anyone who is somewhat familiar with the subject.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Long overdue. This is nothing compared to other countries which have legalized for medical use and even recreational use.

Take a look at our citizens.



Too much pressure.

Fear of Covid.

Suicides rates going up.

Birth rates going down.

In Japan, the new generation including the old could benefit from this plant.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well, well, well…I wonder if, in twenty years, I’ll get an “Apology” from the Japanese Judiciary

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Where EVER there is a demand, there will always be a supply.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Yes, that exactly shows how big the problem already is. You very fast down-thumbers would be my first beloved candidates to check your belongings, cars and apartments and results of hair or urine drug testing. ROFL

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

In the local news here in shikoku, there's a bust every other month. The demand is here. Lots of secretive citizens of Japan partake in it. You just dont see it in public. Cant wait for the medicinal form of it. I prefer digesting it anyway. It Feels like you are taking a long hot bath when you eat it. so relaxing.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

No, make it even much stricter and raise the punishments. Five years prison for consumers, 25 years prison for big dealers and death penalty at second attempt for both groups. This problem has completely to be eradicated as quickly as possible. There are enough legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco available and that must be the upper limit for every citizen.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

As far as recreational use goes, there is no demand here

Would it be legal, the demand would be huge from young people

10 ( +10 / -0 )

When it will be legalized here, we will all be too old to have an interest in using it

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Don’t get your hopes up. There’s no way Japan will legalize cannabis. And the majority of people here are quite happy that Japan is drug-free.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

I'm assuming the component of cannabis the government is going to allow in pharmaceuticals is probably CBD, since ointments containing it are already available in Japan through MLMs like Amway and Q Science.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

If it can be used as an effective medicine they should allow it sooner than later.

As far as recreational use goes, there is no demand here and there is no point to add another pollutant to the air. All types of public smoking should be banned.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

It would be nice to not have to need heavy sleep medication every night that absolutely destroys my body

It would be nice wouldn't it

11 ( +12 / -1 )

It is so ironic that many countries in the world that had been using cannabis for centuries outlawed and criminalized it because of pressure from the US. And now even though the US Is doing a complete about term legalizing it, to how it was in those countries one upon a time, yet those same countries still persist with the criminalization thrust on them from the US. Does not seem to be the same pressure to decriminalize from the US as there was to criminalize.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Cannabis is illegal in Japan. The drug was outlawed in 1948. 

Cannabis in Japan - Wikipedia

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It's a start at least


Yeah it's called gaiatsu (outside, mostly foreign, pressure) in Japanese.

Only way to propel this country forward.

It is what caused them to ban it in the first place.

Only they never did ban it. The US occupation forces did. The Japanese just upheld the ban later on.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The steady accumulation of scientific evidence from abroad is slowly but surely lifting the fog of mystification and superstition surrounding cannabis promoted by fevered reefer madness of the kill-joy Japanese authorities.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Yeah it's called gaiatsu (outside, mostly foreign, pressure) in Japanese. It is what caused them to ban it in the first place.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

n’t mean that the substance is going to be decriminalized in all forms and applications. It’s likely that the revision will allow for the use of cannabis only for specific medical conditions, and “anxiety” may not qualify, given the Japanese medical system’s comparative aversion to treating mental health issues with medication

so it’s positive properties don’t match the archaic laws. Mmm that’s a conundrum. Yep strap them to a bed and they will die, problem over.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

It's a start at least

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Too little too late, but at least a step in the right direction. I have never anderstood this hysterical treatment of what is just about the most established and harmless soft drug out there.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

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