On November, 2012, the voters of Colorado State and Washington State voted on a new initiative that legalized the recreational use of marijuana. This state level decision contradicts the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, and disputes the International Narcotics Control Board located in Vienna and the World Health Organizations’s international treaties and agreements. Such international organizations have been displaying concern regarding this issue, yet in Europe and many other parts of the world, many countries have laws that prohibit cannabis but actually do not enforce them strictly for small amount possessions.
So the United States legalized recreational cannabis in two states, and regarding medical marijuana, 18 states and Washington D.C. already legalized this, and have achieved goals such as cutting spending on prosecuting and persecuting those who may use, possess, or cultivate marijuana. Taxation perhaps is another issue, for each state has its own laws, but it is clear that taxation of cannabis will bring a tremendous amount of income for these states that have moved forward.
The Japanese Cannabis Control Act, implemented by the occupying forces of the United States shortly after World War II strictly prohibits the medical and clinical application of cannabis by doctors and researchers. Industrial hemp is permitted, but this requires licensing which is very difficult to obtain.
The clause that prohibits clinical research is promulgated in the Cannabis Control Act – Part 4 section 2 and 3. Currently, the goal of the legalize marijuana movement in Japan is to eliminate this particular clause, which shall eventually allow cannabis use in various treatment and perhaps as a preventative healthcare measure, and even help those with debilitating medical conditions.
Japan has a historical connection with cannabis, much like many other cultures in the world. Cannabis has been cultivated for at least 10,000 years, perhaps from the early Jomon era. In fact cannabis plays a key role in the Japanese Shinto rituals, as a metaphor at times, and as an actual object to worship in others. In the animistic religion of Shinto, cannabis appears in shapes of gods as well. Cannabis has been used to make Kimono’s to rope, and perhaps was used widely in shamanistic events.
Vice travels to Nagano to interview key players in Japan’s legalize Cannabis movement. They talk to us about their cause, their experiences with the law, how cannabis has helped some of them overcome serious illness, and the possibility for changing Japan’s harsh drug policies. We also pay a visit to the Hemp Museum in Miasa Mura to learn more about Japan’s historic and forgotten relationship to the forbidden plant.
WE ARE AN ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO THE LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS IN JAPAN. WE WOULD DEEPLY APPRECIATE IT IF YOUR POLITICAL PARTY WOULD ANSWER OUR QUESTIONNAIRE BEFORE THE ELECTIONS FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REGARDING THE CANNABIS CONTROL ACT AND THE FUTURE DRUG POLICIES OF JAPAN. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THE RESULTS WOULD BE POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE.
three fields of cannabis five houses eight or nine children
The above poem was written by Japan’s world famous HAIKU poet, SHIKI MASAOKA in the late 1800′s. This poem was written about SHIKI’s ideal life, which consists of the above mentioned ideas. He wished to have cannabis fields, for he loved them. He wished for five houses to live in, and finallly 8 or 9children. This is not his only poem regarding cannabis.
The ancient Shinto manuscript, KOJIKI, is the first book ever written in Japan. It describes the colorful world of animism, our belief system in Japan that there are spirits and gods in everything and anything in the land of the rising sun. We refer to this as YAOYOROZUNOKAMI, which lierally means 8 million gods, that we have praised and worshipped throughout history. This includes the god of cannabis, the god of wind, thunder, etc. We basically have gods and goddesses for everything, and that is embodied into the deep psyche and spirituality of the Japanese people and culture.
In this book, KOJIKI, there is a chapter called IWATOBIRAKI. This means the opening of the stone. In our mythology, AMATERASUOOMIKAMI, the sungodess hides behind a stone, and the world is covered in darkness and gloom. The other gods are freaked out by this, so they gather around the stone and they throw a big party to call the sungoddess back into the world to enlighten the land. In the end of this story, AMATERASUOOMIKAMI hears the noise of the party and gets curious as to what’s going on, and while she opens the stone and peaks through the cracks, a Japanese powerful giant pulls AMATERASUOOMIKAMI out from behind the stone. Then the land was full of sunshine once again.
The cannabis control act is a serious violation of our right to quality life and our right to pursuit happiness, and therefore it is clearly unconstitutional. In the year 2003, I was arrested on purpose for cultivating 300 cannabis plants and I stated the above in the court of law. I was working with another activist and kept providing this wonderful medicine to people with rheumatism, cancer, etc. The cancer patients claimed that their was emmense pain relief, an increase in appetite, and that they were able to finally go to sleep at night. My fellow activist was openly discussing such matters on the internet. It was a matter of time before we both went to jail.
Growing up in Japan, I never had a problem obtaining good weed. Hashish and dried cannabis are both prevelent in Japan. It grows wildly there too, believe it or not. The self defense force spends a lot of money every year erradicating this wild cannabis, burning something like a million plants a year. What a waste of money and even bigger waste of good commercial weed.
I first smoked weed when I was 14 at an International School in a decent size city in Japan. I had a son of a movie star as a roommate, and he was spoiled rotten. He introduced me to weed for the first time. He got the stuff from his mom, who was some sort of talent agent. These type of people are well known to have weed in Japan. We used to smoke out together and listen to music, giggle all night, just like any other pothead does so.