Cannabis in Japan – legalization law is far from being ready
Cannabis in Japan has a harsh time. Marijuana legalization just won’t happen and the attitude towards CBD is a little different. What is the situation?
The whole world is becoming more cannabis-friendly and legalising wherever possible, but in Japan it is as if the world does not exist and has become even more hardened towards cannabis. You can’t even talk about it in public!
Japan has one of the toughest drug laws in the world. Substances such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin, opioids, etc. are banned and very severe penalties follow for non-compliance.
Although Japan’s intolerance of cannabis is high, it is not the only country in East Asia without a decriminalisation law. East Asia is a region known for its drug laws. No country in the region will legalize recreational pot any time soon. However, they are huge producers and exporters of cannabis products.
Countries like South Korea and Taiwan have recently approved the use of medical cannabis after conducting extensive research to prove its effectiveness.
Cannabis will not be available to Japanese citizens any time soon.
In countries like Germany, the United States and even the United Kingdom, people are aware that cannabis laws will be passed in a few years’ time, so they are comforted despite the delay. It is not the same for Japanese citizens. The government does not seem likely to change its mind any time soon.
Instead of embracing the new acceptance of marijuana worldwide, leaders have instead chosen to tighten the loose screws in the Cannabis Control Act. Police officers now have more grounds to arrest residents on charges of cannabis possession. As it stands, law enforcement agents in Japan are currently making more marijuana-related arrests than other violent crimes. Not to mention that the government is actively trying to prevent information for cannabis from reaching its citizens, which is the case when residents were arrested for speaking positively about the marijuana plant.
These anti-cannabis measures practiced by Japanese leaders are not new. They were tried by the United States, but as history shows, it was a losing battle. A Japan Today news publication reported that the Japanese legal system does not tolerate the use, possession and sale of marijuana and other drugs . Regardless of the amount of cannabis found on a person, the law treats the charge as a serious crime. Marijuana possession charges are more or less on a par with violent crimes in Japan.
It was recently gathered that Japanese government leaders are considering whether or not to allow the use of cannabis in medicine. This step, though small, is a step in the right direction. Every attempt at major cannabis legislation today has started from this point.
With the approval of medical marijuana, residents will be able to use cannabis extracts to treat or manage the symptoms of a limited number of diseases. The legitimate use of medical cannabis does not mean that residents are free to use the drug for other non-medical purposes. Sensing the loophole that the new initiative could present, the government is working on strategies to ensure that marijuana is not used recreationally.
CBD products in Japan
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis. It is known to reduce the effect of THC in the consumer’s body. Scientists have also revealed that most of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis can be attributed to its CBD compounds.
This is why CBD derived from hemp is well on its way to becoming legal in Japan. Its anti-aging and mood-enhancing properties are reason enough for products like this to be allowed in the country.
The US Congress approved the use of hemp-derived cannabis in 2018 by legalizing the use, cultivation, possession and sale of hemp-derived products. Since then, other countries, including Japan, have looked into legalizing CBD.
An in-depth look at Japan’s hemp laws would show loopholes that allow the use of CBD products derived from hemp. Entrepreneurs looking to break into the Asian hemp industry, particularly in Japan, can take advantage of the opportunity offered by CBD products. Experts predict that the Japanese CBD market could meet and even surpass the $800 million milestone by 2024.
Japan is the world’s third largest economy. By allowing the sale of hemp-derived CBD products, it is inviting entrepreneurs and investors to capitalize on the hemp green rush. Demand for the drug is available. New people who have never been inclined to recreational cannabis are entering the industry to get a taste of the magical CBD.
More cannabis-related arrests are expected in 2022
This year, the total number of marijuana-related arrests reached new highs. Residents have been put behind bars for possessing, growing and selling pot. Some were also arrested for growing cannabis without a proper license. Currently, only 20 farms in the country are licensed to grow cannabis. In 2022, the number of arrests made could very well surpass this year’s – especially if recreational cannabis laws are tightened again.
According to online sources, the government may be trying to make the act of recreational pot smoking illegal across the country.
What is the situation about cannabis in Japan?
Instead of adapting to the new norm worldwide, Japan is focusing on creating additional penalties for marijuana possession and use. Fear of these penalties is preventing several residents from getting used to using cannabis. One arrest can result in individuals being expelled from school or losing their jobs. The public sentencing that follows an arrest is also a cause for concern. Until better laws are enacted in the future, the people of Japan will be able to make do with CBD products.
Published by Jan Veselý14/12/2021