Japan Enacts Legislation to Lift Ban on Cannabis-Derived Drugs

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Diet Building in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japan’s parliament enacted legislation on Wednesday to revise the cannabis control law to lift a ban on the use of medicines containing cannabis-derived substances.

The House of Councillors, the parliament’s upper chamber, approved the legislation with support mainly from the ruling coalition.

The legislative change comes as calls have been growing in Japan to enable the use of a medicine for treatment of intractable epilepsy that contains a cannabis-derived substance called cannabidiol.

Meanwhile, the revised law imposes a ban on narcotic use of cannabis and makes offenders punishable with an imprisonment of up to seven years.

The move comes in response to increased cannabis possession in the country, mainly in younger generations. Those who possess cannabis are punishable with an imprisonment of up to seven years under the revised law, up from five years.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, a hallucinogenic component of cannabis plants, will be placed under regulation as narcotics under the narcotics control law.