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Toke gesture

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A group of people take part in a "pro-weed" rally in Tokyo's Shibuya on Sunday afternoon.

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"Reduce the number of salarymen who commit suicide!"

lol

17 ( +19 / -2 )

@CokeBill

Is "coke" the sniffing kind or drinking kind?

"Reduce the number of salarymen who commit suicide!"

I lol'ed too.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

A lot safer than alcohol... And yes, let a guy that is stressed and thinking about suicide smoke a bit, it will help with their problems.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Imagine if this group ran into the Nazi demo from a few weeks ago.............

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Imagine if this group ran into the Nazi demo from a few weeks ago.............

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

let a guy that is stressed and thinking about suicide smoke a bit, it will help with their problems.

Maybe yes, maybe no There needs to be much more research before a definite answer can be determined. There are studies that suggest that marijuana use may trigger schizophrenia or detachment from reality in people who are already at higher risk of psychosis.

In addition, although there is no clear evidence that marijuana directly causes depression, marijuana use and depression appear to accompany each other more often thanone might reasonably expect by chance.

I think more research needs to be done before letting a society with a large suicide rate have more access to a substance that could raise that rate significantly.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

Well these guys are definitely going to be on someone's watch list now...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

SkumDog: Oh YES; by all MEANS, there should be more "Research", in the MEAN time, it's PERFECTLY o.k. to POISEN yourself with Tobacco & Alcohol. We wouldn't want to TAKE PROFITS away from THOSE big corporate MONSTERS.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Any estimates on the number of marchers / rally attendees?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Garbage, does not help with problems at all it makes you forget you have problems. You still have those problems when you come out of your stupor.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Oh YES; by all MEANS, there should be more "Research", in the MEAN time, it's PERFECTLY o.k. to POISEN yourself with Tobacco & Alcohol.

What would ever make you think that I would advocate the use of tobacco or alcohol in people with depression? I am merely making the suggestion that marijuana could be more hazardous for those with depression than not using it. Sorry, I can't understand why that would make anyone ANGRY. Perhaps you could try to explain it again without the all caps and the vitriol.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Legalise it!!!! Nice to see that Japanese smokers are beginning to stir it up.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Smoking annoys and damages the health of many people. Perhaps a few interesting onigiri fillings or creative senbei could give a Japanese feel and be the way to go.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hmm, younger looking people demonstrating on public/political issues.

What say you, that normally dismiss these sort of things by saying it's 'only' old people protesting and the like?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I like that...I hope they really try harder... but Japan has the post-war image on weed. They need to open their eyes and start taxing weed in order to help the so called Abenomics. What I mean is...Instead of raising taxes and causing financial mayhem to the lower class, they should legalize and tax marihuana.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I see a few people seem to disagree with me. That is all well and good, but I really wonder if I had written the same thing about mental health and tobacco or alcoho if I would have received the same disagreements. Why should marijuana be given a pass then? Why should one more harmful substance be added to the list? Just because you want to use it does not mean it is right for everyone, particulary those with mental health issues such as depression.

I would not suggest someone with depression should use tobacco or alcohol as it is even more harmful for such people. Neither would I suggest they should use marijuana. Perhaps one of those disagreeing with me could shed some light on their area of their disagreement?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

akihase,

There are just as many (some more recent) studies showing the opposite results. That is why I wrote "Maybe yes. Maybe no."

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0503c.shtml

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111010074853.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796318/

So, I still do not see a clear green light for those with depression or other mental illnesses to start lighting up.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Regardless of how you think about the issue, I would welcome them anyday instead of some nut yelling racist stuff at me.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

How many at the rally 3? Oh boy....in this country? gambate fellas!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why shouldn't substances be regulated based on realistic assessment of their harm?

I would not have a problem with that. I was just saying that it is way premature to suggest that suicidal or depressed people would benefit from smoking marijuana.

a move away from total prohibition and a better attempt to understand it, including the risks and benefits, are long overdue after 50 to 80 years of misinformation, hysteria, and victimization of users.

I have no problem with that. However, people get so hot under the collar about this issue that fruitful discussion seems impossible in many cases. Look at above, heaven forbid you mention any possible risks with regard to marijuana and ears and eyes close.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Great headline, JT!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The most positive news I've seen on JT (or any other newsite) in a long while.

I would love for it to be legalized or at least lower the penalty for possession.

I think a more realistic assessment of the "dangers" of this drug is LONG overdue. It needs to be in a separate classification.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well, there is hope.

@Slumdog, "why iroiro?"

Well, it is pretty clear that alcohol and tobacco are extremely destructive to the body and are also very highly addictive. They have very few health benefits. Pot, on the other hand, is not very destructive to the body at all, and is not addictive. (True, it is smoke, but being unaddictive it is unlikely many ppl will face the same cancer risk as tobacco smokers who smoke 10 or 30 butts a day, and also you can ingest pot w/o smoke). Further it is a powerful medicine for an incredible range of illnesses and pains, and in many cases seems to be the only thing that can treat some of those ailments, making it really necessary for those afflicted folks. Finally based on my observations of going to parties back when I was in college, I saw many fights among drunks but not one among pot smokers. Never even heard of one. Pot is just not that bad. It's so not bad it's good.

These things have been pretty well established, and established over and over again. There is just really not much reason for pot to be illegal.

There isn't much to debate about anymore, except how old you should be to buy it, and rules for growing and distribution.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree. I've never gone along with the people who think that marijuana is a great medicine for a wide variety of medical issues. As a psychoactive substance, it certainly couldn't be recommended for depression unless there was a huge amount of research that could demonstrate its benefits (and the circumstances in which they can be achieved).

I agree 100%. That is all I have been saying. For saying so, it seems I have developed quite a negative following :)

Slumdog, "why iroiro?"

Sorry. What? I have no idea what you are asking me here.

Pot, on the other hand, is not very destructive to the body at all, and is not addictive.

This is what I mean. It is fine to debate the subject, but to make marijuana out to be some perfect/miracle drug is counterproductive to your attempt at an argument. According to the book the "Science of Marijuana" written by Leslie L. Iverson, who is a professor of pharmacology, between 10 and 30% of regular users develop dependency. 9% will acquire a serious addiction. The percentage of serious addiction grows when the smoker starts young. For these people, there are withdrawal symptoms. Now, while this is admitted much less then tobacco, alcohol or heroin, it is not zero. So a more realistic approach when discussing the subject is necessary. Also, I was speaking specifically about marijuana use among suicidal or depressed people. That was my only real comment on the subject. For people like that, there is no hard and clear evidence that such marijuana usage should be recommended.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It does benefit Glaucoma, people suffering under cancer treatments....researched and now in use in many countries. Recreational although I do advocate it's a health issue rather than criminal. The amount of tax payers money spent for the result is a public loss. As for research? in the 50s government monies ensured it was the reason for psychotic episodes, the 80s produced research that linked it to a whole plethora of problems ( thanks Ronald Reagan might have been communist?). Does not make people aggressive does not cause mass depression, cases highlighted are a fraction of alcohol that is a proven chemical depressant and cause of aggression. Prohibition is a failed solution. Extensive studies/research has been done over the last century none have been definitive or contradicts the previous one. After 100 years think the conclusion might be nothing can be proven as it's an individual thing and some are good for this some are not, might be genetic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It does benefit Glaucoma, people suffering under cancer treatments....researched and now in use in many countries.

Yes, I have met people that say it has helped them and I have heard of lots more that say the same. I am sure there are many uses for it. I just get a bit annoyed with the cure all attitude.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Not cure all, just another arrow in the bag, DuPont were behind its criminality as it produces better and higher quality paper than their pine plants could produce. Also before WW2 it was a big part of Japanese culture particularly Shinto. It came from Asia to the West not the other way around. Ps it's not for me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The message being sent out now a days should be "don't drink and drive, smoke weed and fly".

Legalise it already for crying out loud.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Which weed do they love?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@slumdog

you raise good points. but from my experience it´s the other way around. I had huge issues with personality disorders and depression and smoking actually helped me. not forgetting that I have problems, but actually looking at them without being obstructed by my fears and conditioning. it ain´t a wonder drug. it won´t cure cancer or make your psychological issues disappear, but it can help dealing with them in a reasonable way. and no matter how effed up my life has been and thoughts of suicide came up, I never had those when high. not once. it seems physically impossible.

I think it could be a good addition, if regulated, and improve many peoples life on a, for them, visible and understandable level.

also, whoever had the idea to customize it through Japanese cuisine: give this man a cookie! brilliant idea. how about instead of seaweed we make hosomakis with marijuana??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It should only be taxed if people are too lazy to grow their own.

Even then, the tax should be on par with food and not some outrageous luxury tax aimed at curbing behaviors the power brokers don't like because it may affect productivity.

Keep marching. But keep smoking too. Its the civil disobedience that is going to change this stupid state of affairs concerning stopping people doing as they please with their own bodies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Slumdog, don't even bother trying to warn these folks. They're so hell bent on refusing scientific fact and any responsible studies on this because in their minds MJ is 100% harmless and it's impossible for them to want to believe anything that points to the contrary of what they want. As a resident of CO I'm watching all this "harmless" weed mess people up as they continue to flip out and go nuts and effect other non-toking residents because they couldn't even pay attention to "responsible" usage regulations here.

I really wouldn't want to see Japanese society (which already has enough psychological issues and no effective therapeutic counseling for people there...) think that MJ is the fix for everyone's depression problems. It will just get worse.

Fun fact, I have 2 uncles that are pro-weed, and both of them found out that certain strains of it make them sick or they're allergic to, and the strains their body can tolerate don't give them the "buzz" they want because (as I already learned from working with medications in my career) they're body has built up a natural tolerance for those strains because the body doesn't like what's being done to it.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Honest Dictator,

Thank you for your post.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Look at the photo...everyone is smiling. For every smoker messed up I know 4 with no license, lost job or in jail for alcohol related incident. Make it a medical issue ( not so cool to start ) remove the criminal element, users have access to support...or just jail them for committing such a heinous crime that results in....people being happy curse them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Nessie

Someone's been reading The Economist methinks...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@honestDictator

seriously? because the body doesn´t like what´s being done to it? you´re talking about science and then you go off using this? immunization happens with everything, not just THC, it´s a normal process of adaption (look into the neurotoxin that is Oxygen and how life adapted to that as well). and all studies show that after several weeks to a few months the body has completely "forgotten" the experience and has it out of its system.

I´m again not advocating marijuana as a wonder cure. it´s far from it. but it has wide, beneficial effects with minimal (compared to other drugs we use for same effects) adverse effects. it´s not a therapy by itself and shouldn´t be. it´s not a replacement for medicinal treatment on serious health issues, and shouldn´t be. but can it work in tandem with therapies and improve the life of the person? yup, indeed it can and I´ve seen it myself. but not one was healded because of this. they just gained some strength to go on, or some piece of mind to rest up. sometimes that´s all that´s needed to balance the scale to one side or the other I´d say that education, our way of working and entertainment like TV and News have more to do with the psychological illness ailing our world.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ooh cool! i don't foresee weed as being necessarily a bad thing, i think it deserves a chance to be legalized for a recreational use, since its been illegal for decades in most countries. Just throw the same regulations as tobacco or alcohol on it and tax it, I'm pretty sure weed is easy to grow and not too costly. But just give it a chance. If it leads to some chronic illness no one has ever seen in like 10 years, then take it off and re prohibit it. Even if there's that chance of something happening at all you still get money from taxing it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course weed is not 100% harmless.... people have bad reactions to it all the time... and guess what.... those people don't try weed a second time. I know people that get sick if they drink alcohol.... and guess what... they stay away from it. It would be great if all of us could go through life without medication of some sort... but Weed and Alcohol, while not being good for us in most circumstances... are the two prime ways we medicate and recreate. You say we need to do more studies and such.... heck... about 50 million Americans have been smoking it regularly since the 60's and if we have not found out just about everything about weed... then we need to do more research on every drug out there. Light-en up!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps the authorities should focus on the white,crystalline plant derivative that is the scourge of contemporary children and adults,resulting in millions of deaths and ruined lives every year. But then again, sugar is legal, so that`s ok..........

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sad to see slumdog, one of the few people in the thread who is making any sense, get so many down votes. Fine. Legalize it, spend your days in a haze. But don't trumpet yet another drug as a miracle cure for depression and suicide. At least alcoholics don't get this self-righteous about their drinking. Just smoke it and get out of the way of the rest of us who are still living our lives.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The best part about this story is not wether the stuff should be legal or not, but rather, the fact that young Japanese people are actually wanting a voice. For too long the system has relied on ignorance and a lack of proper education to keep the populace under the thumb. Go you good things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What kind of weed do they love? Acapulco Gold has been found to effectively relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia and chronic pain...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Robert Leichsenring. Learn about a wonderful thing called drug interactions. The reason why THC is not "used in tandem" with other known medications is because it can either counter-act, increase negative effects of certain drugs, or do absolutely nothing when used with something else.

I have mentioned quite a long time ago, there is only 1 THC drug in legitimate pharmacy usage and it is only used for hunger inducement. That's all it's used for. There are many medications that work 100 times better than what many people have been trying to advocate MJ be used for. The advocates have always tried to propose MJ as working better than already known medications and its just not true. More research will have to be done to find out if there is any thing else that it might help on the medication side. Until then it's just a plant that stoner's worship to get their high.

Random thought, in nature many animals will eat certain plants that help them stay healthy and cure them of illnesses.... And yet I don't know of any herbivore/omnivore in the wild that will go out of it's way to graze on MJ. They seem to avoid it all together. I wonder why that is....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are many medications that work 100 times better than what many people have been trying to advocate MJ be used for.

Chemical drugs, often with harsh side effects. As compared to MJ which is a natural drug, and litte to no side effects.

Random thought, in nature many animals will eat certain plants that help them stay healthy and cure them of illnesses.... And yet I don't know of any herbivore/omnivore in the wild that will go out of it's way to graze on MJ. They seem to avoid it all together. I wonder why that is....

Maybe you should spend your time wondering why it isn't, because you're wrong. Wild animals eating outdoor plants is a huge problem for outdoor growers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I have mentioned quite a long time ago, there is only 1 THC drug in legitimate pharmacy usage and it is only used for hunger inducement.

So many great things have been ignored or banned for the stupidest of reasons. I think the true science on THC has only just begun, but still there are the brainwashed who will automatically reject it.

I am reminded of all the music banned in certain Muslim countries. Its the same stupid difference. And no doubt there are still people who say, but music begets dancing and dancing begets fornication. Times change, THANK GOODNESS, despite people swearing the current state of affairs is optimal.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@strangerland false argument. Aspirin, Insulin, and all the other drugs in the world started from natural materials. They all have origins from either plant, animal, or mineral. Believe it or not all medications are natural derivatives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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