Japan’s strict drug laws could be revised after a health ministry panel suggested approving the use of cannabis-based medicines, reports AFP.
Whilst the health ministry’s panel of experts recommended that the government rethink laws to allow the import and production of medicines using cannabis components, it proposed tightening the laws with regard to recreational use of the drug which is a crime. Japan has notoriously strict anti-cannabis laws which most famously saw Paul McCartney spending nine days in detention in 1980 after he was found to be carrying the drug in his luggage.
According to AFP, the recommendation comes as products containing cannabidiol (CBD) which is a non-intoxicating component of cannabis have gained popularity in Japan and worldwide. The panel suggested that the ban on cannabis plants be substituted for a ban on the psychoactive substance THC, which would allow the CBD industry to continue to flourish. “CBD is legal and used in supplements and cosmetics,” a health ministry official told AFP.
The recommendations of the panel will be now looked into by the government although changes to the law will only come after a bill is submitted to the parliament and approved by lawmakers, reports AFP.