Japan panel advises legalising cannabis-based medicines

A health ministry panel suggested on Thursday that Japan should permit the use of cannabis-based medications, opening the door for a potential historic change of the nation’s draconian drug prohibitions.

The group actually suggested strengthening regulations on marijuana use for non-medical purposes, thus the change will not have any impact on Japan’s zero-tolerance policy on marijuana use for recreational purposes.

International celebrities have fallen victim to Japan’s strict anti-cannabis legislation, including Beatle Paul McCartney, who was detained for nine days in 1980 when the substance was discovered in his luggage.

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However, the government has been debating allowing the use of cannabis-based medications, which are already used in many nations to treat ailments such severe epilepsy.

The government should change the regulations to permit the import and production of medications made with cannabis-derived ingredients, the expert panel for the health ministry suggested on Thursday.

But it also advocated for tightening the law to make it clear that cannabis usage for recreational purposes is illegal.

This would address a security breach created to prevent farmers from being detained for consuming marijuana while cultivating hemp for products like rope.

The advice comes as products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating ingredient in cannabis, become more and more well-liked overseas and in Japan.

(With inputs from agencies)

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