Japanese health ministry officials are pushing for the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes.
On the 25th of May, a Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare panel met to discuss actively pursuing the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use, first reported by The Asahi Shimbun.
The ministry compiled a report back in June 2021, which recommended that the Japanese government allow the use of cannabis products to treat epilepsy. This comes as the United States, Canada, and many other countries have approved such medications.
The Japanese health ministry plans to revise the Cannabis Control Law over the Summer. The Cannabis Control Law had been passed into law in 1948.
The legislation, as it stands, makes it illegal to cultivate cannabis, possess it, and even produce any medications out of it. In spite of the fact that marijuana is illegal in Japan, some farmers have been given permission to grow hemp for the purpose of creating shimenawa, a kind of rope often used in shrines.
It is Japan’s intention to make it simpler for individuals to make use of cannabis for therapeutic reasons.
The panel will also explore the possibility of introducing a new clause to the Cannabis Control Law that would make the use of marijuana a criminal offense, with the exception of when it is used for medical reasons.
If the new provision were put into place, those who violate the law would be subject to harsh penalties.