Japan appears to be in the midst of a marijuana epidemic of unprecedented proportions

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by dan k, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. In the past six months alone, four sumo wrestlers have been kicked out of the sport for using the drug and a player on the national rugby team was banned for life. In addition, police have arrested a rock star and staged high-profile raids at some of the nation's top universities, arresting students and confiscating Ziploc bags full of suspicious substances.

    To many non-Japanese, the thought of sumo wrestlers smoking weed to foster the munchies and pack on the pounds may seem like the punch-line of a joke. And the idea of rock stars or university students partying with illicit drugs hardly seems scandalous in celebrity circles or on university campuses.

    But in Japan, these incidents have shocked the nation. They received front-page coverage. And they prompted television exposes and editorials like the one in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper earlier this month that said, "Our incipient cannabis pollution must be contained at all costs."

    The penalty for the possession and use of marijuana in Japan is severe -- not only in terms of prison time (Paul McCartney famously spent 10 nights in jail here after being arrested for possession in 1980). When a player for Japan's national rugby team tested positive for marijuana earlier this month, he was banned from the national team forever and the professional team he also plays on, sponsored by electronics maker Toshiba, has suspended all team activities until the end of March and has withdrawn from the ongoing national championship out of shame. Smoke on that, Michael Phelps.

    Late last year, after four Waseda University students were arrested for marijuana possession, university administrators called a press conference, bowed deeply to the dozens of reporters assembled and issued a formal apology. "We are sorry for causing so much trouble," Tomoki Waragai, the humiliated executive director of the university, told reporters.

    They vowed to conduct a comprehensive survey of the student body to determine the extent of the problem. And university administrators sent an email to all students warning them that students "foolish enough" to try marijuana "all too often end up physically and mentally ruined, perhaps leading lives of crime. There is no 'innocent' or 'harmless' way to take illegal drugs. In Japan, possession alone is sufficient to lead to the most dire of social punishments. Engaging in drug-related activity is utter stupidity."

    This comes at a time when Japanese society's whole-hearted acceptance of another mind-altering substance -- alcohol -- is at center stage. Recent events highlight the contradiction between this country's treatment of marijuana and its treatment of alcohol. The same week that the rugby team pulled out of the championship because one of its members used marijuana, Japan's Minister of Finance Shoichi Nakagawa stole the limelight at an otherwise staid press conference at the G-7 meeting in Rome with this apparently drunken behavior, now a viral hit on YouTube:

    After the debacle, Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso initially stood by Nakagawa and only accepted his resignation three days later, when opposition parties complained that Nakagawa's behavior had embarrassed the nation.

    "Attitudes towards alcohol are incredibly lax here," explained Jeffrey Kingston, the director of Temple University's Japan Campus. "Alcohol facilitates the frank exchange of opinions and views in a society where communication can be quite stilted."

    In this conformist society, seemingly laden with rules about everything, says Kingston, alcohol is the acceptable method for relaxation. "There is no wiggle room on this."

    So alcohol, even hard liquor, is on offer from vending machines throughout Japan's cities in the same way vending machines offer Doritos in the U.S. And public drunkeness is considered normal. So much so that Tokyo's late night trains are populated night after night by masses of inebriated businessmen, many of whom have to be physically removed from the train after passing out.

    Japan's National Police Agency declined to comment for this story, other than to point to crime statistics. In 2003, just over 2,000 people were arrested for marijuana-related crimes. Last year's figure, though not yet final, is expected to top 2,800. Although the number is clearly on the rise, drug use here remains far below the levels in the U.S. or Europe. Polls in the U.S. indicated that 46 percent of Americans say they have tried banned substances. In Japan the figure is only 3 percent.

    Police are quick to point out that increasing numbers of Japanese -- including in one instance a Buddhist monk -- are trying their hand at cannabis cultivation. The number of green thumbs arrested for cultivation has doubled in the last decade. But the total number of arrests for that crime still doesn't top 200 per year.

    The Asahi Shimbun editorial explained, "surely, we don't need to try to catch up with the west in drug use."

    source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0...GIGN4.facebook

    Population of Japan: 128million
    Number arrested for marijuana: 2,800

    Population of America: 314million
    Number arrested for marijuana: 757,969(2011)

    Real pandemic they have on their hands....
  2. Not to sound like a douche but I think that when the USA bombed japan in WW2 they decided to pick up on some of our governments ways(aka the prohibition of cannabis). The samurais back in tha day though were tokin it up :bongin:
  3. Japan is so ass-backwards....that damn island just needs to sink into the Pacific already....
  4. [​IMG]
  5. Do yall think the history of opium in asian countries,mixed inthe fact England,USA pushing their propoganda is the reason these asian countries don't fuck around with any drug?

    It's sad because in most of the countries you can get a hooker within 20minutes of getting there...(I've done it.)
  6. Weed in Japan is no joke and quite scary.

    One of my more memorable experiences getting high was smoking then walking about Tokyo. I'm sure some of it had to do with the craziness of Japan, but part was probably because you were doing something highly illegal.

    Now on this same journey I could buy a beer out of a vending machine at any hour of the night and walk past many "massage" girls openly doing their thing or pachi nko casinos where you can gamble your paycheck... different culture altogether.

    I'm sure some of it has to do with "western" government propaganda. Seeing how strict it is and how their culture does not tolerate it, I don't see the laws changing any time soon or even distant future.
  7. It's sad how Cannabis is perceived as a hard drug when it doesn't have properties of what a hard drug does, it's just misinformation and sheer fear. I checked back at the article "conformist society" no wonder.
  8. That article OP posted is from 2009...

    There're quite a few ppl who smoke weed in Japan, but you wouldn't know about them less you live there, since it's extremely illegal. Plus a gram of hash in Tokyo would set you back like 6000-10000 Yen (up to $100).
  9. Looks like they killed Nakagawa
  10. #10 floating_by, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2013
    Japan's economy is stuffed with prohibitionists. Banking is a major industry, as is the automotive market. Both have vested interests in prohibition and the status quo very much.

    Electronics: I just read the other day how carbon nanotubes are created via organic plant material. Hemp? I bet it would make GREAT carbon nanotubes! It does everything else better, why not that too?? I bet it would!!

    Japan is a debt servicer, just like we have been re-made into in the U.S. Their post-WWII "duties" were laid out to them by the IMF, I'm sure.

    I've been seeing prohibition as an inflationary hedge lately. Japan has a TON of debt, like the U.S.
    Clawing back money from your people is a great way to make sure the value of currency remains high as you continue to print it and distribute it globally.
  11. This makes me sad because I absolutely love Japanese culture and I intend to go there and stay for a little while at some point. I have heard that they are strict about it but I never realized how strict exactly. Well I will just go and get drunk on the 電車 and maybe score some 大麻 if I get lucky. Japan has other things I want though...
  12. I read the title as "Jason appears to be in the midst of a marijuana epidemic of unprecedented proportions"

    one too many beers
  13. damn we need to start importing American growncannabis there haha.
  14. I bet the radioactive weed over there takes you higher than goddamn Godzilla!
  15. #16 Vast Difference, Jul 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2013
    I read somewhere that this symbol éº» was derived from a pictogram depicting two hemp plants in a small greenhouse, or something.
  16. #17 squidrick420, Jul 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2013
    You are absolutely correct haha.
    大麻 =Dai Asa
    大 = big
    麻 = hemp
    It is also called Tai Ma (or meh) which is the Chinese word for it, the same kanjii is used however.
    I love their logic behind it lol. But the kanjii 麻 is one of my favorites!!
  17. apparently Japanese marijuana has different effects when smoked
  18. One part of this really caught my attention!!
    At about 10 minutes in they talk about how cannabis/hemp was proven at Chernobyl to suck dangerous and radioactive chemicals out of the ground. If this is true then holy fuck!!! Cannabis is truly a miracle plant if so.

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