politics

New Renaissance Party backs use of medical marijuana; gets mixed reaction

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The first effects of marijuana on Japanese people, from my experience, is to send them to sleep. Who knows, it might even replace the mountain of sleeping pills that seem to be prescribed without limit here, even though they are dangerous when abused that way. Japan's drug (legal and illegal) habits and laws are a confused mess.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

A step in the right direction.

A new study has shown that MJ can ward off dementia and alzheimer's by inhibiting the growth of certain proteins in the brain that cause those diseases.

For those of you who are more interested in knowing about this, go to youtube and search the big picture rt marijuana. Thom Hartmann had a medical professional that explained it in painstaking detail.

If that study is true, and it certainly appears that way, it should be legalized completely as dementia and alzheimeir's are a national health problem.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Over the counter drug prices in Japan are likely to skyrocket to U.S. levels if/when TPP goes into effect here.

If that happens and corporate pharmaceutical tightens its grip on Japanese consumers, like is now the case in the U.S., medical marijuana could become one of the few affordable treatments available to Japanese patients suffering from chronic pain and other medical conditions. Welcome to U.S. style DIY medical care.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

“Faced with this sharp gap between Japan and the rest of the world, the public is at a loss which to believe,” said Saya Takagi of the New Renaissance Party, founded by a former member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party.

It's about time that Japan came out of the dark ages with regards to the benefits of using marijuana as a option for alleviating pain and helping patients who would benefit.

Over the counter drug prices in Japan are likely to skyrocket to U.S. levels if/when TPP goes into effect here.

Over the counter drugs here are crap times 10. Prices can skyrocket all they want, as the products are not worth the package they are put into.

As an example: (not a drug but an example) Red Bull produced in the US is illegal in Japan, it would be classified as a stimulant and against the law.

Laws here regarding what is a drug for over the counter use are archaic at best and only there to protect drug manufacturers and keep them in business and a monopoly on the market.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

I have been using it for decades and legally for a few years for dream suppression, like many veterans.

Recently it has been shown that cannabinoids can remove the amyloid plaques in mammalian brains associated with Alzheimer's.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

“I believe it can be greatly utilized for medical purposes,”

And Akie's (hats off!) contention is backed by considerable research.

The government says legalizing marijuana for medical use is premature, without scientific proof.

Which sounds like the delay position they will continue to take while ignoring research that finds something they won't accept. There are tradeoffs to marijuana use, but the positives outweigh the negatives.

medical marijuana could become one of the few affordable treatments

And in my opinion it could and should be, unless government restrictions allow only a pre-determined oligopoly of growers and vendors made up of those politically connected to control the industry.

despite a trend in advanced countries, such as Canada and the United States

despite a trend in advanced countries, such as Canada and a few progressive portions of the United States

Fixed that.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Someone's gunning for the youth vote, but I think this is a good thing.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

To me its amazing that they're saying there's "no scientific proof" of the benefits of medical marijuana. There's plenty of evidence if they look at American and Canadian research. It's simply tradition that is keeping this ban in Japan. Not evidence.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I bet there were mixed reactions. They would have been somewhere between, no way and go to jail forever. Japan legalizing medical pot? That's about the same chance as paying off the public debt. It's just never going to happen.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Realityofake

There is no research done on special Japanese bodies and minds.

Thank you very much and come again.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This case, both a medical and a legal case, was in the news yesterday. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/26/national/science-health/man-race-cancer-leads-japanese-fight-medical-use-marijuana/

This gentleman seems to be suffering because of the law as it stands.

This link to another story in the Japan Times provides some of the history, perhaps I should say forgotten history, of cannabis in Japan. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2014/04/19/lifestyle/cannabis-the-fiber-of-japan/

The US made Japan make marijuana illegal. The US is now making it legal. Will Japan follow? * "Whatever the motivation, the U.S. decision to prohibit cannabis created panic among Japanese farmers. In an effort to calm their fears, Emperor Hirohito visited Tochigi Prefecture in the months prior to the ban to reassure farmers they would be able to continue to grow in defiance of the new law — a surprisingly subversive statement.

For several years, the Emperor’s reassurances proved true and cannabis cultivation continued unabated. In 1950, for example, there were approximately 25,000 cannabis farms nationwide. In the following decades, however, this number plummeted. Takayasu attributes this to a slump in demand caused by the popularity of artificial fibers and the costs of the new licenses cannabis farmers were required to possess under the 1948 act."*

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Tradition is a wonderful excuse for nearly everything. Tradition says... Can be followed by whatever you want. For example, marijuana has only been illegal since 1945 when the US insisted. (Along with the constitution, perhaps Abe can change that back to the way it was in Japan before The Surrender.) Before that, traditionally, it has been used in lots of stuff - temples & ceremonies. Possibly smoked but definitely it was burned. In fact, Tochigi has a marijuana farm. Read all about it and Takayasu Junich here:

http://apjjf.org/2014/12/49/Jon-Mitchell/4231.html

11 ( +14 / -3 )

At the very least lift the ban on research. It IS already proven to be effective, and to make the government quite a bit of money -- and now Canada is on the verge of of legalizing it altogether and making a mint. The only reason not to do this is adherence to stubbornness and an outdated image of what constitutes drugs and what does not.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

It's simply tradition that is keeping this ban in Japan.

Indeed. There are many myths in this, the land that gave us crystal meth.

McArthur's 1948 Cannabis Control Act echoed similar US legislation from 1937.

The arguably much more dangerous shabu remained legal as it wasn't banned in the US until after the 1952 San Francisco Treaty.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It will open accesses to non-medical uses. No more narco-heads in Japan.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

I am no marijuana campaigner but I applaud this sentiment:

“Faced with this sharp gap between Japan and the rest of the world, the public is at a loss which to believe,” said Saya Takagi of the New Renaissance Party, founded by a former member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party.

To be clear, I have no problem with Japan doing things differently from the rest of the world, but I want people to question why they do things differently. And ideally answer with something other than a tautology.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The first effects of marijuana on Japanese people, from my experience, is to send them to sleep.

You say that as if Japanese are some separate species or something, they are not even a separate race!

Marijuana is just a plant - a plant with medicinal benefits (i.e. pain relief). The sooner it is made legal, the better.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I know some of you expats on here are hoping to meet a crooked doctor or get glaucoma.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Yeah. Good luck with that.

And I mean that sincerely. Wouldn't it be nice to see Japan be more progressive than other countries on something?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

“Given marijuana is already abused, we need to be truly careful.” Oh puhleeeze. Alcohol is massively abused here, but apparently that's just a-ok with the powers that be.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Can't see how you get that idea, igloobuyer. I never said anything of the kind. I more wanted to highlight its relative harmlessness. No doubt many people sleep easily too, just like many people/Japanese sleep when they drink. We seem to be on the same side so it seems even more pointless that you make such a claim.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

About time they considered it. The classification of marijuana in Japan as being right up there with heroin and cocaine is ridiculous.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Legalization is the rational decision and is a cost effective demonstrable benefit to a vast amount of people, hence I give it little chance here. The entrenched special interests of drug companies, alcohol, tobacco and big business concerns override this.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I don't see J-Pharma getting on board the weed train any time soon.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The entrenched special interests of drug companies, alcohol, tobacco and big business concerns override this.

Let's hope that JT International starts marketing joints in Canada, and seeks to replicate its success.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Scientific Facts? Hmmmm.....

What an absurd statement. For example,

16% of all deaths in Canada are tobacco related 88,000 people die from alcohol use in USA death from marujuana 0.00% in both countries! Colorado is experiencing an economic windfall with marijuana. I would take a pothead over a tobacco/drunk any day!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It's getting to the point where not allowing marijuana for medical purposes is almost inhumane and barbaric. Only uncivilized societies would allow their own people to suffer excruciating pain with no recourse. This is a great first step and will hopefully open up the discussion

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The only reason not to do this is adherence to stubbornness and an outdated image of what constitutes drugs and what does not.

It will take two, or more, generations for this attitude to change, at the pace of change in Jland.

By then, the Jcops will have seized hundreds of tonnes of cannabid (smuggled and domestically grown).

Logic has no place in a paganistic society.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It'll never happen. Sad but true. Research has already proven that it's a very useful medicine. This country will never allow this to happen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This might be the first time I saw Japan today commenters in total agreement on a political issue. Lol!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This article lacks the information regarding the fact pharmaceutical research into cannabis was already done by the Japanese government in 1971. Here is the proof: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/yakushi1947/100/6/100_6_611/_pdf

The government knows the positive aspects, and effects, someone ripped up the evidence and said let's keep it banned.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It never ceases to amaze me how so many people think they and their government should have the right to determine what other people do with their very own bodies. And that so many people think alcohol is okay and not a drug, but marijuana is not okay and is a dangerous drug...well...the ignorance, incongruity and downright stupidity is just staggering.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Their already is plenty of proof of positive medical use. In Hiv/aid and cancer patients it serves as less danger pain killer alternative to opium and helps ensure the terminally ill eat their proper diet. In regards to those with serious mental illnesses it helps combat depression and reduce suicidal thought. Marijuna should not be a classified as a dangerous drug.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Someone's gunning for the youth vote, but I think this is a good thing.

I'll beg to differ with you on this one. Odds are there are more middle aged people here that know about and may have experience with marijuana than the younger generation.

I know plenty of middle-aged folks that have used it, and wish they could get their hands on it legally today.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Somewhat related...I teach elder students at a few community centers. I've asked them about marijuana, guns etc. I asked them about "tattoos"... they really equate tattoos with yakuza (crime) ...I told them all my nieces & nephews have tattoos. they are good people...Then I asked "What are you going to do when the Olympics a large number of foreigners have tattoos?" consider them all criminals? Marijuana has the same stigma...I told them "This is 2016 and not 1960's, you have to adjust to a different mind set and get rid of tattoos equal the yakuza mind set.... same with marijuana...grow up Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If it is to be used for the alleviation of pain then it should be in a controlled environment to keep it off the streets. If it reduces pain then great, it should be used, but I don't think it should be an excuse for pot heads to try and get hold of it. Japan already has crazy people... last thing it needs is off their heads on weed crazy people.

Let the thumbs down from 'enlightened' Americans begin :D

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Weed cazy people? What? You make very little sense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A little off topic I know, but does anyone know why hemp does not grow naturally throughout Japan as a weed?

I would have thought that given how much of the country is mountainous and hot in summer, I would have thought that there were excellent growing conditions and it would be almost impossible to eliminate. Given that it was cultivated widely previously, I am surprised that it is not already pervasive.

I have toyed with getting a load of hemp seeds and taking them up to a quiet spot in the mountains, planting them and seeing what happens.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

it cannot be legalised. If it is decriminalised, people will simply grow from seed and pay the fine when caught. If it is OKed for medical use, then eventually the challenge of putting cancer patients or seniors with dementia into prison will confront the police and courts...why? home grow. people will pursue it in large numbers 'cause it is quite simply the best solution... but is a big money loser for the economy. "" Don't let that canni-genie out of the bottle! We'll all be finished if things become a power and freedom movement towards the people""!!! Just to clarify: 'look what I grew in my garden, a lovely basket full of tomatoes" (share around the neighborhood...) Now, a basket full of Bud is something to really get excited about...(it is truly as desirable as sex!! Call it happiness in a basket.) Next the community centre and park will be full of contented citizens communing and socialising together for the betterment of the universe.. Ha. Can't let that happen....... (P.S. I am not suggesting that geriatric men and women should be having sex...What I am saying though is when sex is long gone from peoples lives, a bit of happiness in a plant goes a long, long way to replacing it. Refute that I dare you!)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Weed cazy people? What? You make very little sense.

You've taken it out of context, as expected. What I actually wrote was:

"Japan already has crazy people... last thing it needs is off their heads on weed crazy people."

Maybe I should have hyphenated it thus...

"Japan already has crazy people... last thing it needs is off-their-heads-on-weed crazy people".

If you are going to quote please don't use the portions which feed into your world view of those of us who are against recreational drugs. I already said I'm fine with marijuana being used as a medical aid... I just don't want to see Japanese people wandering about with spliffs and reeking of the stuff. Smells pretty revolting to be honest...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

And also, are you implying only Americans smoke weed?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Marijuana must be too good, never seen so many thumbs up here so far . Lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

it cannot be legalised

Just about anything can be legalized. If there is a will the way will be found. Right now it's finding both.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Japan prides itself on having a low tolerance for guns and drugs"

What about the high tolerance for knives and alcohol?

"Saya Takagi of the New Renaissance Party, founded by a former member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party."

There should be way more former members of Abe's ruling party.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm waiting for the people who will say Takagi isn't qualified to be in politics because she is an actress/television personality (just like Junichi Ishida!). Or will they overlook that if they are hoping for marijuana to be legalized? Of course, she also held some free diving records and does yoga so maybe that qualifies her to sit in the Diet. Also wonder why she is running under her stage name, even though some years ago she announced she was giving it up and going back to her real name, Ikue Masudo. Maybe some will say she isn't fit for politics because after she and her husband divorced she lived for years with a man but they never married. Or maybe those who want to be able to use marijuana in Japan will be happy with double standards.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There should be way more former members of Abe's ruling party.

There is, it's called the DPJ.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There seems to be a logical inconsistency with the positions that

A. Research into medical use is banned B. Approval for medical use requires scientific evidence.

How can any evidence for or against medical use be obtained if there is a ban on research? Doesn't make sense to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The headline stated medical marijuana. Let's discuss about medical marijuana.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Colorado is experiencing an economic windfall with marijuana.

And reduced rates of cannabis use among younger Coloradans.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This party is not talking so called recreational smoke marijuana that some people buy from illegal drug dealers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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