Japanese Ministry of Health to Discuss Medical Cannabis Legalization

Japanese Ministry of Health to Discuss Medical Cannabis Legalization
High Times

A Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare panel met on May 25 to begin discussions regarding lifting the ban on medical cannabis to benefit patients who suffer from refractory epilepsy. As reported by The Asahi Shimbun, the ministry may revise the current law sometime this summer. Japanese law currently prohibits any possession or cultivation of any part of cannabis, including “the spikes, leaves, roots and ungrown stalk of the cannabis plant.” The Asahi Shimbun references that of the “Group of Seven,” or the seven countries with the most advanced economies, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Of these, Japan currently has one of the strictest approaches to cannabis regulation and prohibition. In August 2021, the Japanese ministry wrote a report that recommended that the government should consider following the example of other countries to allow patients to use medical cannabis. While the ministry is discussing the addition of a provision to the Cannabis Control Law that would exclude medical cannabis consumption from becoming grounds for punishment, the agency also seeks to further criminalize recreational use. Although cannabis is illegal, there are some Japanese cannabis cultivators who are licensed to produce hemp to create shimenawa, a specific rope that is commonly used at shrines. There are no punishments for these cultivators, for fear that the production of the ropes may include “unintentionally inhaling substances of marijuana.” However, this assumption was disproven when no farmers’s urine tests came back positive for cannabis in a survey conducted in 2019. The Asahi Shimbun writes that some experts believe the law should provide treatment options for “those addicted to marijuana to prevent repeat offenses,” which mainly includes Japanese youth. In December 2021, Japanese gaming company Capcom allowed the use of its Ace Attorney character to curb…

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Source : Japanese Ministry of Health to Discuss Medical Cannabis Legalization

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