by Kazuhiko Shirasaka, Director of THC JAPAN
TRANSLATED BY: SHIGERU ASO
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.
In the trial, my attorney stated that there were many documents and sources of information that proved the madeical properties of the cannabis plant, along with the safety of using this miracle drug. We filed the documents from world authorities, such as reports from the Council for Science and Technology in Britain and the US National Academy of Medicine. My lawyer stated that cannabis was being used in a medical fashion, and since there were patients that desperately needed access to such medication, the Cannabis Control Act violated the right to life of these patients. However, the district court of Osaka stated the following: The indicted person has been vocal about the lack of logic in the Cannabis Control Act all throughout the investiagtion and trial. His attitutde is not good.
My freedom of thought and speech was violated, and regarding the patients right to life – this was completely ignored.
I appealed the case to the furthest extent of the Japanese legal system, and the administration of justice never gave us a straight answer. In short, the courts totally disregarded my arguments. I received a suspended sentence, but how could I possibly believe in the law and justice system any further? How could I possibly conclude to obey these unconstitutional laws?
Later on, I found out that the secondary institution of the Ministry of Health and Labor, known by the slogan “NO. Absolutely” – which is a direct translation of the “Just Say No” campaign by Nancy Reagan, was an organization constituted of ex-bureaucrats from the Ministry. I also found out that the only information they have on cannabis is a drug sample kit imported from the United States and translated about 15 years ago – which is simply out-dated anti-cannabis propaganda. I reasearched and interviewed many people including a director from the “No. Absolutely” Center, and a senior advisor from the Ministry of Health and Labor, who both admitted that they do not have any medical or scientific reasoning behind this absurd translation of an outdated drug display kit. In short, they have absolutely no proper medical or scientific information regarding cannabis, yet they enforce these laws. I utiized the freedom of information act to obtain all inforamtion owned by the Ministry of Health and Labor regarding cannabis and proved that their information was next to nothing, medical or not, and placed such information on the internet.
This spring, a man who fought the Cannabis Control Act as an unconstitutional law, ended in defeat. It was just like any other cannabis case and the courts have always brought up the 1985 Supreme court decision that the “negative properties of cannabis is public knowledge”. However, such opinions are no longer supported by the international scientific and medical community. The attorney proved so in court. I stood as a witness, and provided information such as the fact that the Ministry of Health and Labor does not own any knowledge about cannabis. Ofcourse, the trial was a kangaroo court proceeding. I wrote to the Supreme courts a declaration of objection to the ruling, and also declared civil disobedience to the Cannabis Control Act, and ended the support effort for this case.
The separation of three powers (legal, administritive, and judicial) are totally dysfunctional in this country. Justice is not independant from the other powers as we’d like to think.