A Japanese Ministry of Well being, Labour and Welfare panel met on Might 25 to start discussions relating to lifting the ban on medical hashish to learn sufferers who are suffering from refractory epilepsy.
As reported by The Asahi Shimbun, the ministry might revise the present legislation someday this summer time. Japanese legislation at the moment prohibits any possession or cultivation of any a part of hashish, together with “the spikes, leaves, roots and ungrown stalk of the hashish plant.”
The Asahi Shimbun references that of the “Group of Seven,” or the seven international locations with essentially the most superior economies, which incorporates Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the USA. Of those, Japan at the moment has one of many strictest approaches to hashish regulation and prohibition. In August 2021, the Japanese ministry wrote a report that advisable that the federal government ought to contemplate following the instance of different international locations to permit sufferers to make use of medical hashish.
Whereas the ministry is discussing the addition of a provision to the Hashish Management Regulation that might exclude medical hashish consumption from changing into grounds for punishment, the company additionally seeks to additional criminalize leisure use.
Though hashish is against the law, there are some Japanese hashish cultivators who’re licensed to provide hemp to create shimenawa, a particular rope that’s generally used at shrines. There aren’t any punishments for these cultivators, for worry that the manufacturing of the ropes might embody “unintentionally inhaling substances of marijuana.” Nonetheless, this assumption was disproven when no farmers’s urine assessments got here again constructive for hashish in a survey conducted in 2019.
The Asahi Shimbun writes that some specialists imagine the legislation ought to present therapy choices for “these hooked on marijuana to stop repeat offenses,” which primarily contains Japanese youth.
In December 2021, Japanese gaming company Capcom allowed using its Ace Lawyer character to curb hashish consumption within the nation’s youth, along side the Osaka Prefectural Police (OPP). Beforehand, Capcom has assisted the OPP with different crime prevention campaigns. “Capcom hopes to assist crime prevention actions in Osaka and all of Japan by this program, which can see the manufacturing of 6,000 unique posters, in addition to 4,000 unique flyers that can be included with individually wrapped face masks,” the corporate stated in a press release.
Japan has lengthy prohibited hashish beneath the Cannabis Control Law that originally went into effect in 1948. Traditionally, hashish had its place in Japanese tradition and faith, however from the Fifties onward, Japanese legislation on hashish mirrored that of the United State’s method to prohibition. The Japanese hemp trade was nonetheless permitted to function, however on account of costly cultivation licenses and a decline in demand for hemp items, few farms stay.
Whereas the federal government perspective is starting to shift, it’s nonetheless clear that Japan wants extra progress earlier than it will possibly totally embrace hashish legalization. In 1980, former Beatles band member Paul McCartney visited Japan with lower than eight ounces in his possession, which netted him an 11-year ban from returning. In February 2022, a U.S. Marine received two years of hard labor for mail-ordering “a half-gallon of weed-infused liquid and the quarter-pound of hashish” from an unnamed particular person in Nevada. On Might 17, a school nurse was imprisoned for allegedly possessing “an unspecified quantity of dried hashish in two jars and a plastic bag.”
Even when Canada legalized hashish in 2018, the Japanese authorities made an announcement reminding Japanese nationals residing broad that cannabis is illegal to consume even if they live in a country where it’s legal.
In line with Kyodo Information, the Nationwide Police Company launch information that there have been 5,482 people who were caught in violation of Japan’s cannabis law (4,537 for possession, 273 for unlawful gross sales, and 230 for unlawful cultivation).