Independent scientific studies conducted worldwide largely conclude that cannabis is not physically addictive in the medical sense, nor does it lead to harder drug use. Additionally, there are no documented cases of anyone dying as a result of a cannabis overdose. The studies also conclude that cannabis use does not lead to violent behavior. Unfortunately, the only significant criminal behavior associated with cannabis use is the act of possession, cultivation and or distribution of the substance itself.
Both alcohol and nicotine, the addictive ingredient found in most cigarettes, are drugs. It is common knowledge that ordinary cigarette smoke and excessive alcohol use pose serious health risks to the user. Additionally, ordinary second hand cigarette smoke is harmful to bystanders who unwillingly inhale the smoke. Life threatening, inherent health risks from cigarette use include lung disease, lung cancer and throat cancer to name a few.
One of the most common life threatening health risks associated with alcohol abuse is liver cancer. Additionally, both cigarettes and alcohol are addictive not to mention that nicotine, found in most cigarettes, is one of the most highly addictive substances known to man. Coincidental harm to society from alcohol use is evident when you consider loss of life and limb associated with driving under the influence of alcohol. Strong evidence also suggests that alcohol abuse is a contributing factor in cases of anti-social behavior such as domestic violence and sexual assaults. In light of the well documented evidence which supports the threat posed to the individual and society as a whole by alcohol and cigarette use both, while regulated, are in fact legal.
There are laws to prevent the use of these drugs by minors, laws against public intoxication, driving under the influence of alcohol and “no smoking” and “designated smoking” areas. In comparison to the public risks associated with alcohol and tobacco use, the apparent victim associated with cannabis use is the person apprehended as a result of violating the Cannabis Control Law and his or her family.
We do not advocate the use of cannabis. We do however seek legislation which would at minimum; decriminalize cannabis use for those who choose to use it responsibly. We believe that cannabis should be regulated in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco. We request that the Government of Japan conduct a non-partial study which would investigate the following: Health implications associated with cannabis use Medical uses Use as a potential food source Use in the industrial sector to include textiles, fuel, ect… Environmental studies We wish to thank “Reconsider.org” for granting permission to include the following research statistics. Details of these statistics can be found at: http://www.reconsider.org/issues/public_health/estimated_deaths_.htm
Estimated annual causes of death in the United States in 2000 attributed to substance use:
Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs: 32,000
All licit and illicit drug-induced deaths: 16,926
Non-Steroidal Anti- Inflammatory Drugs: 7,600
There has never been a documented death directly attributed to cannabis use at any time in US history. It is likely that the national statistics in Japan are similar to those in the US. From these statistics one can conclude that public health risks are not the focus of the Cannabis Control Laws. If public safety was the focus, the two leading killers, tobacco and alcohol would have similar restrictions and associated consequences.