Under Code 109 of the Customs Act importation of cannabis is punishable by penal servitude of up to five years and or a fine of up to 30,000,000 Yen.
The penalty for simple possession (small amounts for personal use) is punishable by penal servitude of no more than five years. For cultivation, the penalty is punishable by penal servitude of no more than seven years. For a first time offence, it is customary to receive a suspension of the execution of the sentence. For cases involving distribution or intent to distribute the penalties may be much more severe. The following international conventions have been ratified by a number of countries including Japan: 1961: Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Convention_on_Narcotic_Drugs 1971: Convention on Psychotropic Substances http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_Psychotropic_Substances 1988: United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_Against_Illicit_Traffic_in_Narcotic_Drugs_and_Psychotropic_Substances Under these conventions cannabis is currently classified as a Schedule I substance. Schedule I includes supposedly dangerous drugs claimed to create a serious risk to public health, and whose therapeutic value is doubtful or non-existent. Included in the schedule are synthetic hallucinogens such as LSD and DMT. The most controversial drug in this category is Cannabis, which is of great therapeutic value according to many scientific studies. A growing number of countries which have ratified the conventions have relaxed the enforcement of cannabis control laws and penalties or decriminalized cannabis for personal possession and use consistent with not only the factual impact on society but also the will of the people that the governments are there to serve. It could be argued that the governments of these countries recognize that: a. Cannabis is not a gateway drug b. Cannabis does not lead to anti-social behavior c. Cannabis has scientifically proven medical advantages on human beings d. Society as a whole does not oppose or feel threatened by de-criminalization of cannabis use In essence, it could be argued that it is unconstitutional to enact and enforce laws against the will of the people without just cause. When the only measurable negative impact on society is violation of laws and not the act itself, do the laws serve society or does society serve the laws? How would society react if the government enacted laws prohibiting tobacco use consistent with the Cannabis Control Law? When you consider that tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive with serious life threatening health risks, and has no medical value, one could argue that such a law be in the best interest of society? Think about that as you read on.