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Japanese students more open to use of marijuana, survey suggests

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Weed is fine, like honestly Marijuana is seriously not that harmful for you at all, its just a plant, that exists naturally in the world, a medicinal herb if you will. I mean compared to the garbage and life-ruining stuff that is ectasy, cocaine and ever engineered substances, this is really not that harmful. It also provides people with illnesses and body aches with soothe and calms them down. It should be legalised for medicinal use and small amount of recreational use in all countries.

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First, drugs are also an "external source" (you eat, inject or breathe them).

Um, you obviously completely missed the idea of external, and decided to come up with some other thing altogether.

I think the distinction you want is voluntary vs involuntary. I recognize the freedom issue here, but freedom is at best only on a par with health in the ranks of legal interests and certainly less universal. At the very least, you can't whip out Freedom and expect it to trump everything in law.

Only in extreme circumstances should freedom be restricted. Choosing to intoxicate ones self is NOT an extreme circumstance.

History suggests we will never be free of theft, murder and rape either. Do you propose we decriminalize them and rely on "education"?

Nope. Because these are not victimless crimes, that someone chooses to do themselves.

False equivalencies.

Now let's inverse the plot into a world where drugs are as common as drink. Every time someone gets pressured into consumption, he loses his freedom to NOT intoxicate himself (a violation by itself).

This might be the stupidest attempt at twisting reality to try to fit a point that I've seen. If someone allows themselves to get pressured into consumption, that is their choice to intoxicate themselves.

He is now also intoxicated against his will

And there we go with your failure in logic. No he isn't. If someone willingly took the drugs, it is not against their will. You cannot just say up is down, and expect the rest of us to believe that makes sense.

It's already bad enough we have one drug with such dangerous powers. We need to introduce another contender like we need a tumor.

What are you even talking about? The drugs are introduced, you act like we are discussing whether or not they should be created. You're preaching the 'lets try to close pandora's box' approach, ignoring reality, and therefore creating a worse problem through the criminalization of people with a health issue. Your approach is anti-societal.

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Quite right. Kampai to that. Japanese don't need any kind of mood altering drug to make life more bearable.

Except for, y'know, the horrifically concerning dependence and abuse of alcohol.

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Marijuana has always been part of asian culture including Japan.

Whether you like it or not, Thailand and South Korea legalized Medical Marijuana and surrounding US territories and states such as Saipan, Guam, and Hawaii are going legal.

In India, it's mixed in a tea drink called 'bhang'. It's legally consumed there.

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@Strangerland Today 02:56 pm JST

First, drugs are also an "external source" (you eat, inject or breathe them). I think the distinction you want is voluntary vs involuntary. I recognize the freedom issue here, but freedom is at best only on a par with health in the ranks of legal interests and certainly less universal. At the very least, you can't whip out Freedom and expect it to trump everything in law.

Same as we will never be free of drugs, so the answer isn't to make them illegal

History suggests we will never be free of theft, murder and rape either. Do you propose we decriminalize them and rely on "education"?

Sometimes on balance it is not worth fighting against something that is too popular, but the idea of decriminalizing anything just because we can't be completely rid of it is indefensible.

I hate it when people pressure me to drink when I'm out and about, and I'm not in a drinking mood.

I'm glad you agree. Now consider how much worse it is for someone who doesn't drink on principle. My lungs thank the fact at least smoking has been pressured out of that exalted status...

Because the prohibition of drugs is an infringement upon freedom more egregious than someone having to say they are not interested in partaking.

Is it? In a world where drugs are prohibited, all anyone interested in drugs loses the freedom to intoxicate himself (inflict harm on his own health). On the other hand, that's all he loses.

Now let's inverse the plot into a world where drugs are as common as drink. Every time someone gets pressured into consumption, he loses his freedom to NOT intoxicate himself (a violation by itself). He is now also intoxicated against his will (a violation of the Interest in Health). If he believes strongly in keeping his mind clear, that conviction may be strong enough to reach the rank of Conscience, in which case a freedom with constitutional affirmation (no comparison to the freedom to get wasted) is violated.

If he exercises his freedom, the scary part about societal expectations is that you don't know what the consequences are. If this was, for example, a business party environment and you refuse your boss' offer of drink ... it could be nothing or it could be your promotion right there, and you won't be able to prove it (so no remedy). So now we are talking about real, tangible monetary and status losses.

It's already bad enough we have one drug with such dangerous powers. We need to introduce another contender like we need a tumor.

Norman GoodmanToday  03:14 pm JST

 needing education to curb stupid but natural human tendency. And education works

"Education" means we aren't in such a world yet, and may never reach there.

While alcoholics have been unpopular for a very long time now, alcohol itself in "moderation" has not lost its popularity and social status. That's the reality. We need Alcohol #2 like .... oh wait, I'm repeating myself.

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Please justify why people should be forced to pay any price at all for choosing not to intoxicate themselves

That is also an issue of needing education to curb stupid but natural human tendency. And education works. In the past if someone was an alcoholic, people pressured them anyway. These days if you point out that someone is an alcoholic, all but the dumbest of the dumb will keep pressuring them. And then the dumbest of the dumb will be warned not do that...period...even if they can't grasp why its so dumb.

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The fact you see them as a health issue (that is to say, they inflict damage to health) is already a justification for treating them as a legal, or even criminal issue. The protection of health is perhaps 2nd only to the protection of life as a core, universally accepted legal interest protected by Law.

Not when you are infringing upon a person's freedom to choose how they want to live their life. If you are protecting health from external sources, such as industry, then yes, it's a responsibility of society. When someone chooses to intoxicate themselves, no, it's not justifiable. It's an abuse of freedom.

So practical experience shows that once the permeation of a certain drug reaches a certain concentration in a collective, it is not entirely voluntary to refuse

Yes it is. Someone can choose to do it or not. Don't tell me as an ex-smoker that it my decision to smoke and then to stop wasn't entirely voluntary.

to that extent the legalization of drugs actually reduces freedom

Sorry, that logic fails.

You just killed your own argument. Obviously we can never be free from peer pressure, so the answer is not to make items illegal...its to educate the public to resist peer pressure.

Same as we will never be free of drugs, so the answer isn't to make them illegal, wasting resources on policing and imprisonment, it's to educate the public as to why not to do drugs, and help them when they do.

It's pretty simple logic, but so many people are too brainwashed with decades of propaganda, and lack the ability to open their eyes to a practical response to the problem.

Please justify why people should be forced to pay any price at all for choosing not to intoxicate themselves

They shouldn't, and education should be put forth in that regards as well. I hate it when people pressure me to drink when I'm out and about, and I'm not in a drinking mood.

why we should actively create environments that will increase that price.

Because the prohibition of drugs is an infringement upon freedom more egregious than someone having to say they are not interested in partaking.

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@Norman GoodmanToday 01:42 pm JST

You just killed your own argument. Obviously we can never be free from peer pressure, so the answer is not to make items illegal...its to educate the public to resist peer pressure.

In reality, every time one resists peer pressure, one actually pays a societal price for doing so. It may be mild, or it may lead to complete ostracization, which may lead to further negative consequences such as losing out on discretionary matters or even outright (as in, no one will dispute it as such) bullying. That's why many people choose not to resist peer pressure.

Please justify why people should be forced to pay any price at all for choosing not to intoxicate themselves, and why we should actively create environments that will increase that price.

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And even with illegal drugs, a certain quantity of youths each year imbibe some because of peer pressure from bubs.

You just killed your own argument. Obviously we can never be free from peer pressure, so the answer is not to make items illegal...its to educate the public to resist peer pressure.

Do we want to re-experience these painful pump outs again?

Freedom isn't free. How dare you advocate taking away my freedom in the interest of avoiding inconvenience for others? Damn everyone's concerns about my freedom! When what I do is actually a physical threat to their life, health and safety only then will I give them an ear! And even then they better focus on the greater dangers! Cigarettes? Forget it! Look at the factory smokestacks! No driving after one beer? Forget it! Look at the elderly drivers weaving down the road during student commuting hours! Marijuana? Forget it! You can't even OD on it and cause tax payers to pay for an ambulance ride!

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@xyzabcToday 07:53 am JST

Just because something is "legal", it doesn't mean you need to use it.

The historical evidence suggests otherwise. If you are non-drinker (like me), you will nevertheless have been pressured to "have a drink" at dinners and parties, or be obligated to ingest at least a small cup because it is "tradition" for certain events (like New Year). Sure, you can refuse, I guess, but those environments are set up such that it will be a minus for you if you refuse.

Similar things have happened with tobacco back when that was in vogue. And even with illegal drugs, a certain quantity of youths each year imbibe some because of peer pressure from bubs. About the only drug that's more or less completely voluntary, as far as I know, is caffeine. No one seems to mind if you choose not to drink coffee or imbibe Coke.

So practical experience shows that once the permeation of a certain drug reaches a certain concentration in a collective, it is not entirely voluntary to refuse, and to that extent the legalization of drugs actually reduces freedom (another protected legal interest, and yet another reason to make a legal crimp).

Have you heard of "Alcohol-Induced Psychotic Disorder"?

This is very interesting, but I have said there is not much point in saying whether alcohol or marijuana is more harmful. The only reason we aren't getting rid of alcohol is because it is too popular. Even with tobacco they are slowly but surely pushing it into extinction, and the increasingly severe BACs for driving is also a de facto crimp against alcohol. So, the world is moving to pump the drugs out where it can be done without causing a riot or mass disobedience. Why relax for cannibis now? Do we want to re-experience these painful pump outs again?

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@Kazuaki Shimazaki

1) Just because something is "legal", it doesn't mean you need to use it. You can ignore the fact that marijuana even exists at your will, yet you want to be the person who is against it. Rat poison and prescribed drugs are legal and dangerous. Why don't you have problems with the items above? Isn't the real issue about making rational decisions?

2) Have you heard of "Alcohol-Induced Psychotic Disorder"? Alcohol can be hallucinogenic and an intoxicated individual can disrupt public order.

3) Marijuana has always been part of asian culture including Japan.

Whether you like it or not, Thailand and South Korea legalized Medical Marijuana and surrounding US territories and states such as Saipan, Guam, and Hawaii are going legal.

Foreign companies are already filing and acquiring patents for medical marijuana in Japan and Otsuka Pharmaceutical company had already joined the marijuana business in the US.

Do you believe Japan can continue to ignore the reality as they do with other issues?

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@Bob Slefty June 24 11:39 pm JST

Well, I'm a bit lazy on this, so I just went on Wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_(drug)

At higher doses, effects can include altered body image, auditory and/or visual illusions, pseudohallucinations and ataxia from selective impairment of polysynaptic reflexes.

Fine ... it's not a hallucinogen. It just produces "auditory and/or visual illusions" and "pseudohallucinations". How is this supposed to reasonably change my judgment to marijuana (cannbis) being good for humans?

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Kazuaki Shimazaki

".....Somehow, I don't see how a prevalent hallucinogen will improve society..."

And somehow Kazuaki, I don't see how you expect anyone to give credence to your words when you describe marijuana as an hallucinogen. It's clear that you actually know nothing about the subject and therefore your opinion is moot, at best.

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I can't decide if this is totally alarmist, or totally meaningless.

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A part from the fact that marijuana was cultivated in Japan freely before the American Occupation forces came, so talking about influence from the West really makes no sense to me.

The really maddening thing is that Japanese people are not taught (and do not even inform themselves) about drugs properly.

Some Japanese friends of mine admitted that they are taught that marijuana is the same thing as heroin, and they thought you have to inject it to use it.

They do not have any idea about drugs, what they are or what they do. I think everyone has the right to be informed but of course in Japan the government prefers people not to know stuff. The problem is also that they don't really have a critical thinking so they don't inform themselves independently.

This said, smoking pot once in a while is not the symptom of an unsatisfactory life (as someone in other comments said), and this proves well that those people do not know what they say (otherwise drinking one beer once in a while would mean the same thing, or not?)

Japan has a big problem with alcohol, but no one seems to care about it. but if you have one joint, you'll be publicly shamed (like those tv stars and idols) and serve time. Come on......

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Kazuaki Shimazaki Our bodies are not the property of the government...in theory anyway or in anything remotely approaching a decent principle. Japan Inc. sure does not seem to have any problem with those volunteering to help clean up the Fukushima disaster. So why so worried about marijuana?

Anyway, all you have written concerning health and consent is an argument for regulations, not bans. If anyone wants to do whatever with their own body, the government's only legitimate course of action is to simply ensure that person is 1) informed 2) of sound mind to make the decision 3) not being forced into it and 4) not harming others in the process.

In other words, if I want to fling myself off a cliff and I am willing to hire a security team to ensure I don't do damage to anyone or their property below and have paid for a clean-up fee as well, then the government needs just take some evidence of my preparations and then get its mitts off my business.

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@Strangerland Today 05:28 pm JST

The problem with this statement is the underlying premise that drugs should even be illegal in the first place. They shouldn't. They should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue.

The fact you see them as a health issue (that is to say, they inflict damage to health) is already a justification for treating them as a legal, or even criminal issue. The protection of health is perhaps 2nd only to the protection of life as a core, universally accepted legal interest protected by Law.

The US tried to get rid of alcohol, and failed, and has been trying to get rid of drugs, and failing, as it ignores human nature, which has proven beyond any doubt that a certain subset of people will always choose to intoxicate themselves, regardless of the legal status of the intoxicat.

But it does not mean they would choose to intoxicate themselves with just anything, regardless of legality. It seems more like once a drug reaches critical mass, this does happen. But most people can usually be persuaded off unpopular drugs. There will always be a "certain subset", but statistically a certain subset of people choose violent crime too, and no one is saying for this reason violent crime should be permitted.

(If, however, in a hypothetical society where everyone punches each other, it'll be impractical and even wrong to criminalize assault. So I think the main differentiator here is actually the percentage of people doing something in a society - you can't criminalize things that are too popular. It is impractical and wrong.)

Which is where we are at right now with drugs - the cost of trying to eliminate them has been a world-wide massive black market of drug cartels, leading to murder, violence, and an economy that does not contribute back to the tax system and therefore society. If 30 years of the war on drugs has proven anything, it's that it is a colossal failure - people are doing more drugs now than ever.

In the US, I guess. But we are talking about Japan today. So the question is, is the drug problem so bad and so violent in Japan that the above statement holds true? If not, why should they permit drugs (and then when they suddenly realize they want to eliminate them we will get these drug cartels and murder and violence)?

And the idea that the government should be able to take away someone's freedom for choosing to intoxicate themselves is complete and utter BS.

Well, that depends on what you think about the legality of self-harm. If we agree that health is a protected legal interest, and accept that "intoxication" can't possibly mean anything good for health, then there is a prima facie case for prohibition.

In legal theory, self-harm (both directly hurting yourself and getting hurt in say a boxing match) is related to consent. There are a number of formulations, but the easiest to understand is that Consent neutralizes part of the Erfolgsunwert. However, the neutralizing power of consent is generally agreed to be limited. For example, it is illegal to suicide or assist in suicide in many jurisdictions, including Japan. If we agree that consent does not eliminate criminality in assisted suicide, then the neutralizing power of consent is clearly not absolute, and it is thus possible to ban or even criminalize the consumption of drugs on basis of their harm to health.

There are also some public order (another time-honored legal interest) issues involved in drug use, but I think it is possible to settle this one on the less controversial legal interest of Health.

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Marijuana opposition is simply trolling. None in opposition believe a word they say, they just want people to be oppressed, unfree and miserable. The only reason they pretend to support any freedom at all is because if they didn't, their game would be over. But never fear. Just as soon as marijuana is legal and accepted they will find some other joy to try and kill and likely succeed too.

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The comparison isn't whether marijuana is more harmful than alcohol or not. The critical take one should be taking from alcohol is that a decision to permit a drug is de facto irreversible after a transition period in which it becomes mainstream.

The problem with this statement is the underlying premise that drugs should even be illegal in the first place. They shouldn't. They should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue.

Attempts have been made, in the US in the 20s and the Soviet Union in the 80s to cut away at alcohol.

The US tried to get rid of alcohol, and failed, and has been trying to get rid of drugs, and failing, as it ignores human nature, which has proven beyond any doubt that a certain subset of people will always choose to intoxicate themselves, regardless of the legal status of the intoxicat.

Eventually it was considered that the cost of eliminating it is too great.

Which is where we are at right now with drugs - the cost of trying to eliminate them has been a world-wide massive black market of drug cartels, leading to murder, violence, and an economy that does not contribute back to the tax system and therefore society. If 30 years of the war on drugs has proven anything, it's that it is a colossal failure - people are doing more drugs now than ever.

And the idea that the government should be able to take away someone's freedom for choosing to intoxicate themselves is complete and utter BS.

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Allow me to be in that 98% that disagrees.

The comparison isn't whether marijuana is more harmful than alcohol or not. The critical take one should be taking from alcohol is that a decision to permit a drug is de facto irreversible after a transition period in which it becomes mainstream. Attempts have been made, in the US in the 20s and the Soviet Union in the 80s to cut away at alcohol. They failed because the drug is too entrenched, which leads to attempts to go around the laws or even flat out resistance, which severely degraded. Eventually it was considered that the cost of eliminating it is too great. Alcohol did not get any better. It was just considered not worth getting rid of it.

So you should be thinking about whether society will be a better or worse place if marijuana became as prevalent in society as alcohol or tobacco is today. Somehow, I don't see how a prevalent hallucinogen will improve society, and the advocates had better be certain it'd be better, because it is irreversible.

And trying to say other countries have unbanned marijuana is not a good argument. The critical factor is that those countries were "flooded" while Japan (in relative terms) is not. In those countries, it might not be worth the effort to pump the already flooded compartment out. But if the compartment is still almost dry, why let the water in?

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Was it not legal here before the Americans occupied it?

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YubaruJune 23 07:20 am JSTMarijuana is not a drug.

It's demonized by far too many, and here in Japan, and on this page, there are plenty of folks who CHOOSE to remain ignorant of the fact that marijuana has benefits beyond "getting high"

As more and more Japanese travel to Canada, for home stay, study abroad, working holiday's, vacations, etc, they will be introduced to marijuana and I am damn sure more than a few will try it.

Be nice to see them come back here and get the ball rolling on legalizing it!

San Miguel My own personal opinion is alcohol is a far worse drug and creates way more problems in society than grass. Alcohol also kills a lot more people through disease. How many people have been arrested for domestic abuse while stoned? How many domestic abuse cases involves alcohol? Alcohol is a nice drug because it's 'legal'. Grass is evil because it isn't. I think this is hypocrisy. I say legalise it, then tax it and then put the profits into drug and alcohol awareness programmes.

You're right on the money. Beer - it's sexxxy! It gets you all the chixxx, it's sophisticated and you can drink all your troubles away with it. Get trashed, act stupid, get in a fight. Drive DUI, if you make it home safe you can beat your wife. Alcohol does bring out the aggressive side in some people, ya know. Get mean, it makes you macho. Destroy your friends, destroy yourself and your career. Marijuana makes you thirsty, gives you the munchies and sometimes makes you chuckle or giggle. Ooh we can't allow that, can we? We can't allow people to relax, can we? You can get physically and mentally hooked to the bottle but not the spliff. Mister Rogers says, 'Can you say "hypocrisy"'?

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Do you know what happened in California after weed got legalized, thinking legalizing it would bring in more tax dollars? Well how wrong were they.

Since you didn’t bother to fact check yourself is. How much tax did California take in, and how different was that to projections? You claim they were wrong, and put forward literally nothing to support that claim. And for those of us who know, it’s very clear you don’t know what you’re talking about since you’re very clearly wrong.

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And I do think that it is a gateway drug. They're being sold by the same dealers!

As I said earlier:

It was called a gateway drug in the 80's. It's been shown to not be a gateway at all - the overwhelming majority of people who smoke marijuana never go on to harder drugs. Now, if you look back at what drugs those using hard drugs started with, yes, you will often find marijuana - and almost every time find alcohol. So while you can say that most hard drug users started with alcohol and marijuana, very few users of alcohol and marijuana go on to use hard drugs.

>

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Narcartics are not beneficial to human mental health in any way or form.

Yes they are. After a long day of work, a nice joint is super relaxing

They are only necessary if used like painkillers, opioids for example

Why do they have to be ‘necessary’? As society, we’ve long ago accepted that people want to intoxicate themselves and we are ok with that.

Science and research has studied that psychedelics floods the brain with unbalanced neurotransmitters which wires the brain to release less neurotransmitters the next use, eventually, leading to addiction and other problems like homelessness and psychosis.

No, none of that is true. You were misled by lies be propaganda.

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And I do think that it is a gateway drug. They're being sold by the same dealers!

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Do you know what happened in California after weed got legalized, thinking legalizing it would bring in more tax dollars? Well how wrong were they. Now the problem is the illegal, underground marijuana going around to avoid paying taxes! So much for legalization!

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Narcartics are not beneficial to human mental health in any way or form. They are only necessary if used like painkillers, opioids for example. Many medical drugs can be used for recreational use, like recreational drugs, which means that recreational use of medical drugs can be harmful or fatal in ways that are mentally, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. So it could go the same away around with recreational drugs because they are abusing chemical properties of the drugs to get high. Science and research has studied that psychedelics floods the brain with unbalanced neurotransmitters which wires the brain to release less neurotransmitters the next use, eventually, leading to addiction and other problems like homelessness and psychosis. The fact is excess amounts of these chemicals have negative consequences, aside from all the false, misconceptions, and propaganda that they are safe and legitimate.

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Junior High School students? Tell them to get a job instead, never mind watching youtube and marijuana.

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Forget the kids; if you ask around, most seniors would support legalizing cannabis in Japan.

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Marijuana is a drug which affects the mind and body

That's what makes it great!

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Marijuana is a drug which affects the mind and body, according to the internet encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_(drug).  

It is illegal in Japan, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_in_Japan.

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Mmarijuana has 2 forms, the leaves which can be smoked

The bud is smoked, not the leaf.

Then there is the oil, the oil has been legalized in many countries even the UK for health benefit.

I believe you're talking about CBD, which is one kind of oil that comes from the plant. There are others as well, that unlike CBD are psychoactive.

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Mmarijuana has 2 forms, the leaves which can be smoked and you may get a high (or you may not). Then there is the oil, the oil has been legalized in many countries even the UK for health benefit. It relaxes the body and alleviate pain

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if I did not suspect that criticizing "square" Japan for its no-tolerance of marijuana ties in with a general Japan-bashing mentality

I'm no Japan-basher, but that doesn't mean I can't disagree with some of the attitudes in the country (or any other country) which I think are just plain wrong. There's no connection between "Japan-bashing" and thinking Japan's attitude on 'soft' drugs (and yeah, I'll continue to use that adjective) is outdated, and doesn't take notice of the medical or other evidence from overseas. Or my own experience, for that matter.

Your attitude condemns people who use one drug (marijuana) to a lifetime of criminality, possibly even jail, whereas a more harmful drug (alcohol) which when abused can lead to violence and death, is all fine and dandy. If there's a problem today in the US with smoking weed, it's not the weed that's the problem, it's the inequities and injustices of American society. Not that I believe the rich don't smoke/poor folks got a weed problem scenario anyway.

Like you, I used to be a smoker. I never invested it with the ability to solve social and political problems. It's just a thing that helps you relax, gets you out of your head for a while. Just like alcohol.

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I wish I knew the average age of the commentators here. gokai wo maneku gets a lot of thumbs-down, but he has a thumbs-up from me....And I belong to the ancient generation of those who thought that smoking dope was so cool, so daring, so sophisticated. Yeah, like, uh, we were, uh, fightin' against war and injustice and, uh, all that ungroovy stuff by, uh, puffing away...It's true that marijuana isn't as physically addictive as other drugs, but it can nonetheless be psychologically addictive--as escape...(Yes, alcohol is similar, but the world already has enough problems with that!) Today, in America, it's not the spoiled college kids who get strung out of weed; it's the despairing, unemployed, very unsophisticated "lower" classes...I confess that I might be more "open-minded" on the subject (if only to reflect on the sins of my generation), if I did not suspect that criticizing "square" Japan for its no-tolerance of marijuana ties in with a general Japan-bashing mentality.

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Yeah, that's how it works in places where medical marijuana is legal.

Do you suggest breaking the law of Japan and taking illegal drugs? Unbelievable. Take drugs in home countries not Japan!

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For those who argue that marijuana is needed for medical reasons, you should get it from your doctor, not diagnosed it for yourself.

Yeah, that's how it works in places where medical marijuana is legal.

Drug is drug, no good reason for self-administering.

There is a great reason for self-administering: because one wants to. That's all the reason they need.

After all, the thing they leave out of the propaganda, is that drugs feel great!

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There is factual evidence that the use of marijuana leads to more serious drug use.

No there isn't.

That's why it's called the 'gateway drug'.

It was called a gateway drug in the 80's. It's been shown to not be a gateway at all - the overwhelming majority of people who smoke marijuana never go on to harder drugs. Now, if you look back at what drugs those using hard drugs started with, yes, you will often find marijuana - and almost every time find alcohol. So while you can say that most hard drug users started with alcohol and marijuana, very few users of alcohol and marijuana go on to use hard drugs.

There is FACTUAL evidence that marijuana is strongly addictive

No there isn't.

and destroys brain cells

No there isn't.

leading to catastrophic social anarchy.

Heh, yeah, look at how Canada has gone to hell after legalizing it!

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Yep smoked it, never once thought " yes I think I'll step up to meth or heroin" and Suprisingly have committed no criminal activity. Other than having smoked a dried out natural weed or herb. Garden variety. But who cares get smashed drinking myself stupid, vomiting or bashing my family and I can't remember that's OK.

never done that but lived next to people who did. It's so stupid when life can be fine.

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The only reason there's crime around marijuana (and ecstasy, another drug which is much less harmful than alcohol) is because it's illegal in so many countries. Legalize marijuana, you won't have the crime. Keep it illegal, and you're making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding people, and in most cases contributing to the financial well-being of a class of criminals who profit from it.

I've known many, many people who've smioked marijuana. Not a single one of them has ever graduated from that to heroin. This "gateway" drug idea about marijuana is a myth and should be left back in the 1950s with Harry Anslinger (quoted by another poster) where it belongs.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

When I first went to Denmark in 1992, you were allowed carry up to 10 grams of hash / grass without fear of arrest. That number has come down now but the Danes have a very relaxed attitude to smoking. Denmark opened my eyes to how a country and a people viewed drugs. As a Brit, I had the whole 'drugs are evil mantra' when being brought up but Denmark's policy of actually talking and understanding drug abuse made me question the UKs approach to drugs. This was 27 years ago. Denmark currently has a much bigger issue with alcohol related crime than smoking. I quit smoking grass in 1997 as it started making me paranoid; however, I am still quite addicted to alcohol. In the last ten years, the UK government has finally caught up and even downgraded grass to a Category C drug. My own personal opinion is alcohol is a far worse drug and creates way more problems in society than grass. Alcohol also kills a lot more people through disease. How many people have been arrested for domestic abuse while stoned? How many domestic abuse cases involves alcohol? Alcohol is a nice drug because it's 'legal'. Grass is evil because it isn't. I think this is hypocrisy. I say legalise it, then tax it and then put the profits into drug and alcohol awareness programmes.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Drako So sorry to hear of your chronic pain. Whaddya mean you don't get any pain medication? Why not?

I assume you don't live where marijuana is legal. If this is the case, I strongly suggest you move to a place where it is legal.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Doggar:

Keep marijuana out of Japan!

Would it upset you too much to learn that weed is much more a part of traditional Japanese culture than tobacco is?

https://hashmuseum.com/en/collection/hemp-in-japan-the-samurai

There is FACTUAL evidence that marijuana is strongly addictive and destroys brain cells, leading to catastrophic social anarchy. In a recent study, marijuana is the most serious drug on the streets, more than alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or meth.

Please supply a link to this alleged study, because it sounds like bollocks to me.

If anything is a gateway drug, it's alcohol, which kills 3 million people every year.

Whereas marijuana killed nobody, ever.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

There is factual evidence that the use of marijuana leads to more serious drug use. That's why it's called the 'gateway drug

Cough syrup, alcohol, and tobacco are all gateway drugs. Hilarious.

Keep marijuana out of Japan!

It's already here. More hilarity.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

As the father of a JHS student and with the greatest respect, do JHS students have the information needed to form any kind of worthwhile opinion on this? It won't be in their textbooks.

Wouldn't it be more sensible to ask JHS students about things that affect them more? Climate change, sexual discrimination, Article 9, what kind of country they want Japan to be etc.?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Keep marijuana out of Japan!

Brilliantly argued @ doggar. Another thumb up for you. I am puzzled why some people are arguing in favor of allowing drugs in Japan, and crime that comes with it like in The West.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

“1.9 percent of about 70,000 junior high school students polled said they do not mind at all about its use or do not mind if just a 1.9 percent of about 70,000 junior high school students polled said they do not mind at all about its use or do not mind if just a little is used, up from 1.5 percent in 2016.

“Japanese students more open to use of marijuana” is a very misleading headline to use when the same figures show that the overwhelming majority (98%+) remain implacably opposed. With the margin of error, the assumption of greater acceptance isn’t worth the cyberbytes it’s inscribed on.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

For those who argue that marijuana is needed for medical reasons, you should get it from your doctor, not diagnosed it for yourself. Drug is drug, no good reason for self-administering. They are additive and won't do good to teenagers whose only dosage will only increase overtime tempting them to try stronger drug. Such self-destructive habit is not to be promoted.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@doggar

Speaking of destroyed brain cells there is more than one way to destroy brain cells. I lost a bunch of brain cells in an event that required serious surgery, but I'm doing fine with the ones I got left. Don't demonize cannabis. It saved my relative's eyesight. The drug laws drove a friend to suicide in his prison cell.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There is factual evidence that the use of marijuana leads to more serious drug use. That's why it's called the 'gateway drug'. This means it opens the gate to more serious drugs like crack cocaine and crystal meth. Japan doesn't need that here. There is FACTUAL evidence that marijuana is strongly addictive and destroys brain cells, leading to catastrophic social anarchy. In a recent study, marijuana is the most serious drug on the streets, more than alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or meth.

Keep marijuana out of Japan!

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Why do most threads turn into comparisons with the US? Are there only two countries in the world?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Don't forget it was the US who criminalized marijuana in Japan after the war.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The ignorance about drugs in this country is astonishing. The number of people I know who think weed is a killer drug, or even that heroin and cocaine are the same thing is really shocking.

And the ones who clutch their pearls at the concept of "marifana addict" are the same ones sparking up 20 cigs a day and polishing off the chu-hais. Because those aren't drugs, right?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

They should show Half Baked in all junior high schools.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What is wrong with life in the USA? Why do they need marijuana and so many other drugs to bear life? You don't need drugs if you have a full and satisfying life.

Dunno. What is wrong with life in Japan? Why do they need to go out and get drunk every night after work?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The article says that the Jyouths are influenced by watching videos on drugs and developments abroad. It didn't mention the influenced of some foreign local friends who are habitual users.

@Strangerland drug abuse is a mental health issue? Most times maybe yes because there are many options to offload stress and excess money and time. Take for instance a past co worker who admitted to using marijuana everyday just to be genki in her job and our job then wasn't related to entertainment but a factory. It's a difference in perspective. To be genki is to feed one's body with the right amt of food and enough time for sleep. Buying marijuana or other energy boosters would take away that money for food. And doing a lot of leisure time with friends would lessen the amt of time needed for rest and ultimately money for food.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms. ... Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him.

Harry J Anslinger. Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics 1930-1960.

Thanks to this despicable man, a hard core racist and liar. He shaped the marijuana landscape that is still pervasive to this day.

Incredible the carnage one man can inflict and have such a lingering odious legacy.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

1.9% is admittedly a pretty tiny percentage, but that doesn't mean that 98.1% disapprove of marijuana. Given that this survey is of younger teenagers, it's likely that the vast majority of that other 98.1% don't have any idea whatsoever about the pros and cons of dope, especially given the dearth of objective information about it in a Japan which seems determined to remain in the 1950s on this issue.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

1.9%?

That number is not worth a comment!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

All drugs should be legal. The idea that the government should be stopping someone from ingesting a chemical - whichever chemical that may be - is morally repugnant. The government should not have any say in what one chooses to do to their own body.

Drug abuse is a mental health issue. Treating it like a criminal issue has been a complete and massive failure. A certain subset of people will always choose to intoxicate themselves on drugs, regardless of the legality of it. This creates a demand, which in turn can only be satisfied through a black market. The fact that it is a black market means that distributors must (and can) charge prices with insane markup, so as to make it worthwhile to those risking their freedom to manufacture and distribute the drugs. Making drugs illegal directly results in a black market around the drugs, with all of the crime that goes along with that. The black market created through the illegal status of drugs is more detrimental to society than the drugs themselves.

Also, consider a crime like rape. If there is a rapist, the police arrest the rapist, and the number of rapes drops as a result. With drugs, the police arrest someone, and someone else steps in and picks up the profits. It's impossible to eradicate.

Instead, we should drop money on policing, and focus those resources into education about why not to do drugs, and rehabilitation to help those who do, and want to stop. Treat this as a health issue, not a criminal issue. Get rid of the black market. Create safe drugs for those who will use them, and create education programs directly integrated with the distribution to those that want them. If someone wants to do crack, have them first require education and a prescription, then have a pharmacy that gives out regulated doses, so that the addicts aren't getting the dirty crap that the black market feeds them.

Let's drop this extremely silly idea that we can eradicate drug use through the law. Or even that we should.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

What is wrong with life in the USA? Why do they need marijuana and so many other drugs to bear life? You don't need drugs if you have a full and satisfying life.

You don't need them, but neither are they an impediment to a full and satisfying life, and use of drugs can expand consciousness and thought, and make for a more satisfying and full life.

Legality and morality shouldn't be confused with need.

Just because we don't need something, doesn't mean it should be illegal, nor does it mean it should be immoral.

The idea that drugs are some sort of immorality comes from propaganda issued by the war on drugs, to try to shame people into not wanting to do them.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

BTW, what when all these Olympics and Rugby spectators arrive and want to get high, are the police going to bust hem and send them home or incarcerate them? It’s the 21st century, Japan wants to be part of the world community, can’t live by 19th century rules and mentality.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My 92-year-old mother takes medicinal marijuana. No problem.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

They surveyed junior high school kids about pot? These kids are 12-15 years old. It’s unlikely any of them have any access to pot. However, now, due to the survey they are all curious about it and many will seek it out and try it. Way to go Japan!

Pot has been proven to be a suitable medicine for treating many afflictions. However, the legalizing it as a socially acceptable drug has resulted in many adverse conclusions. Pot has always been considered a gateway drug by governments and law enforcement, which has been proven to be false. The few countries and US states that have allowed social use of pot have seen major decreases in crime and decreases in use of other more harmful drugs. However, it is still the 1959’s in Japan and pot is seen as a devil weed after many years of poisoning minds with BS. therefore, don’t expect to see any kind of acceptance of pot in Japan in your lifetime.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@gokai_wo_maneku

What is wrong with life in the USA? Why do they need marijuana and so many other drugs to bear life? You don't need drugs if you have a full and satisfying life.

How many people actually have a full and satisfying life - a life worth living if I may say?

Such a life requires thought and effort. Certainly these two things aren’t in short supply today, are they?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is a pretty silly headline. After reading the story you find out that a whopping 1.9% of junior high students have a positive view of marijuana use - an increase of .4% from the last survey. In other words 98.1% think it is a bad idea down from 98.5%, hardly a dramatic shift at all. Click bait...

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Some basic facts of life from observation of human behavior and the study of cultural history: humans like other primates learn by copying. Most humans like and need to change their consciousness by using a variety of substances ranging from alcohol, amphetamines, coffee, cannabis, opium, opioids, not to mention everyone's favorite: sugar. I saw for myself the behavior of our fellow-primates, the mountain gorillas, in the Virunga National Park getting comfortably numb as part of their everyday routine diet. No matter how bad these mood/mind-altering substances are for our health, two inconvenient truths emerge: legal substances cause more death and destruction while the state with its police force and its evil twin, organized crime, together with social sanctions of dismissal from jobs and legal sanctions of prosecution, incarceration and execution destroy more lives than "drugs". It's time homo sapiens(?) woke up and smelled the coffee.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Reefer madness, the youth are getting out control. Look at them smiling having fun, enjoying a smidgen of time....reefer madness the government should form a panel of experts who can go drink afterwards throw up and beat their family. Then meet drug company lobby people go for drinks throw up beat their family, meanwhile those criminals are sitting at home munching nachos.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The problem with lumping marijuana in with more dangerous drugs such as stimulants and opioids is that people begin to think, hey, if marijuana is legal in America, meth couldn't be so bad - but it is.

Legalize marijuana, emphasizing that it's simply a herb, and prosecute the hell out of the others.

Too right.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The students are better informed thanks to the internet seems more appropriate. The article seems to imply that the internet is indoctrinating them...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

On a side note, a hip-hop/rap dance craze is sweeping across Japan so naturally its behavior of marijuana, mannerisms, and dress will be copied. 

Uhhh . . . Wow.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The problem with lumping marijuana in with more dangerous drugs such as stimulants and opioids is that people begin to think, hey, if marijuana is legal in America, meth couldn't be so bad - but it is.

Legalize marijuana, emphasizing that it's simply a herb, and prosecute the hell out of the others.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

As it's a native "weed" in many Asian countries has been used in religious ceremonies and historically widely used. It's weird that those same countries are the biggest proponents of prohibition. Medical use has proven it does help many conditions ( as our ancestors knew) but in our world chemical company's lobby governments to prohibit the growth of a weed to protect their expensive side affect chemical wonder drugs?

oh and it makes you laugh. No body wants that.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Gokai, I think you'll find that alcohol abuse is far more damaging than wacky tabacky use. Japan has a pretty bad alcohol problem that is unfortunately accepted by society. I was watching Kat Tun's Taguchi news and it was ludicrous. Busted for possession and the media and society made a big ado about nothing, a victimless crime. Hilarious and pathetic. So back to your statement, what is wrong with Japan that alcohol can be abused so much?

13 ( +16 / -3 )

''due to the influence of the internet...''

'said the increased use of the internet...''

'influenced by watching videos of drug use and developments abroad...''

You can see where this is going.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

What is wrong with life in the USA? Why do they need marijuana and so many other drugs to bear life? You don't need drugs if you have a full and satisfying life.

Read and learn, it aint always just the US ya know!

https://www.thrillist.com/vice/30-places-where-weed-is-legal-cities-and-countries-with-decriminalized-marijuana

11 ( +12 / -1 )

What is wrong with life in the USA? Why do they need marijuana and so many other drugs to bear life? You don't need drugs if you have a full and satisfying life.

Just the USA eh?

As the teen mind develops, some realize they are living in a messed up world. You do have a point about the USA where a lot of parents are ultra-individuals and continue to "play with their friends" into their 40's, 50's and 60's and longer. Is this a bad thing? Depending on their class level, some of this "play" is constructive (friends/neighbors, BBQ's, camping trips, etc), some not (house parties, hard drugs, negative behavior). As more Japanese teens get exposed to this from Western countries, I bet some are wondering why 16 year olds can drive in the US, or drink beer and smoke cigs in Germany, vote, and are basically given more responsibility to becoming an adult.

On a side note, a hip-hop/rap dance craze is sweeping across Japan so naturally its behavior of marijuana, mannerisms, and dress will be copied. There was even a 24 hour cable dance channel just added a few months ago.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

What is wrong with life in the USA? Why do they need marijuana and so many other drugs to bear life? You don't need drugs if you have a full and satisfying life.

Quite right. Kampai to that. Japanese don't need any kind of mood altering drug to make life more bearable.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

What is wrong with life in the USA? Why do they need marijuana and so many other drugs to bear life? You don't need drugs if you have a full and satisfying life.

gokai, the same could be said about a myriad of drugs that are used on a regular basis in Japan. What is wrong with life in Japan if so many Japanese need the endorphin release of compulsive gambling (such as pachinko)? Or of any of the compulsive, addictive behaviors that are reported here?

Why do they need huge amounts of alcohol, which is just as mind altering (if not moreso) than marijuana? Or tobacco, another drug that is perfectly legal in Japan?

In addition, there are plenty of countries besides the USA that have legal marijuana.

21 ( +24 / -3 )

What is wrong with life in the USA? Why do they need marijuana and so many other drugs to bear life? You don't need drugs if you have a full and satisfying life.

-26 ( +8 / -34 )

Marijuana is not a drug.

It's demonized by far too many, and here in Japan, and on this page, there are plenty of folks who CHOOSE to remain ignorant of the fact that marijuana has benefits beyond "getting high"

As more and more Japanese travel to Canada, for home stay, study abroad, working holiday's, vacations, etc, they will be introduced to marijuana and I am damn sure more than a few will try it.

Be nice to see them come back here and get the ball rolling on legalizing it!

17 ( +23 / -6 )

Marijuana is not a drug. I wish it was legal in Japan. I have chronic pain from a failed spinal fusion, and a closed iliac vein. I don't get any pain medication. Marijuana would be nice to help ease the pain. So I pretty much suffer everyday, in pain.

25 ( +30 / -5 )

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