In June, the panel’s ultimate report tried to separate the distinction. On one hand, it really useful regulating hashish’s chemical compounds, as a substitute of its leaves and buds, as is presently the case. In idea, the change would ease imports of merchandise containing solely hint quantities of THC, the first molecule answerable for marijuana’s intoxicating properties.
The report additionally really useful permitting trials of cannabis-derived prescription drugs, similar to Epidiolex, an anti-seizure medicine created from CBD. (Japan requires all medication to endure home trials.) It didn’t, nonetheless, point out medical marijuana.
Nonetheless, the report’s major focus was battling marijuana’s unfold, together with making it a criminal offense to make use of it. Beneath the present authorized regime, it stated, individuals “are seemingly receiving the message that ‘utilizing marijuana is OK.’”
Latest marijuana crackdowns have raised issues about authorities overreach.
In September 2020, the authorities in Tokyo detained two individuals for 20 days for posting on social media about marijuana and inspiring others to strive it. When New York legalized marijuana in March, Japan’s consulate there warned Japanese to steer clear or face potential authorized penalties at house.
Arrests for the drug have nearly doubled over the previous 5 years, passing 5,000 in 2020 for the primary time, in line with police information. This yr is on observe to be a lot greater.
Punishments in Japan are typically gentle. Nonetheless, arrestees usually threat being fired or expelled from college, in line with Michiko Kameishi, a protection lawyer and legalization advocate in Osaka.
Society may be unforgiving. “In Japan, persons are more likely to query somebody who breaks a rule than query the rule itself,” she stated.