New panel to probe growing use of marijuana and stiffen draconian pot law

Even though Japan has one of the world’s lowest rates of marijuana abuse, there has been a worrying upward trend in recent years
The Japan Times (Japan)
Friday, January 22, 2021

japan cannabisAlarmed by a recent spike in the number of youngsters abusing marijuana, also known as cannabis or pot, Japan’s health ministry is looking to stiffen what is already one of the world’s most draconian anti-cannabis laws. The ministry convened a new panel of experts tasked with discussing possible revision to the Cannabis Control Law, under which owners and growers of the illicit plant currently face up to five and seven years of imprisonment, respectively. While moves have been afoot in some parts of the world to legalize cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, such momentum is almost non-existent in Japan, where the plant — along with other illegal drugs — has long been deeply stigmatized under the much-hyped government slogan “dame zettai” (“absolutely not”).