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Member since: Sat Sep 9, 2006, 06:02 PM
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Why Japan deserves legalized cannabis—SOON

An American perspective...

Why Japan deserves to have legalized cannabis—SOON.

1. To right a wrong----Cannabis was grown for centuries in Japan for multiple uses, and
was only made illegal for the first time in 1953
during the American postwar occupation, under what was basically
corporate-economic pressure from US interests completely unrelated to stated goals of establishing
a democracy in Japan. It is time to reverse that wrongful act.
As in all countries, making cannabis legal takes away a stigma from something (and some
people) that never deserved a stigma in the first place. Crime interests lose a source of income
that is shifted to regular taxpaying citizens. A society becomes a little more honest, and
a little more free.
In the US, as legalization spreads, the only ones who could be said to be “suffering” seem to be for-
profit prisons and overly-zealous law-enforcement agencies who received extra funds for arresting
citizens for cannabis usage. As America's misguided anti-cannabis laws are gradually lifted, large
numbers of people are surprised at how this vilified herb has actually revealed itself
to be the ancient healer and pleasure-giver it actually always was—A benevolent
substance with many medical applications, far less-dangerous than alcohol, and made artificially
expensive by being falsely-labeled as a threat
by authorities with a hidden, vested interest in cannabis being illegal. When society
abandons that lie, it becomes in a true values-sense, more healthy.
2. Economic reasons---- Legal cannabis could provide thousands of new jobs in related
fields such as cultivation, sales, regulation/testing, perhaps cannabis houses
offering a traditional
variation (like tea houses) for going out with a group in a more formal
presentation, plus more informal cannabis cafes, etc.
Tax revenues from sales and cultivation licensing would be a boon
to local and/or national coffers.
Hemp would be liberated along with cannabis, and there would be the
accompanying economic and practical benefits
of a new domestic Japanese hemp industry
for clothing, fibers, hard materials, oil for
different uses, edible seed-products, etc etc
3. Medical needs----In the wake of Fukushima, the uncomfortable truth is that there are going to be a
lot more cases of cancer and other radiation-related ailments in that part of the world (and maybe
others as well). Medical cannabis would be a real gift to the
people of Japan as a cost-effective natural analgesic readily-available to the masses. If the
scientists are right in their forecasts, they are going to need it.
4. Cultural Benefits----Japan is a fantastically musical, artistic and media-fluent country,
currently going though a kind of 1960s/70s-like “Classic period” of exploding creativity
and new styles of cultural expression, IMO. Cannabis has a long connection to
musical, artistic and creative types here in the west, and is considered a stimulus to creativity, and a
boon to open-minded thinking, to many people.
A cannabis-culture in Japan would be
intensely musical and very colorful and brilliant. It could produce new additional waves of
cultural “hits” in multiple medias (film, tv shows, music, etc) and tangibly could help
the economy there as well. Cuisine is another area of possible effects or influence, as cannabis has
strong associations with food, and could be an additional spur to creativity in that area.
Legal cannabis in Japan would bring pleasure and enjoyment to millions of people,
without the risks of alcohol, and
trigger millions of intense and far-ranging discussions between people that
would not have been the same without
the gentle mind-opening influence of cannabis. It would have great social value in a
country known for close social relations.
OK, this is subjective, but how on earth can the country who gave the world Kaiju, Anime,
Manga, Yasutaka Nakata, Hatsune Miku, Katamari, 9Goats Black Out, mochi, and giant dancing
sugar-donuts possibly not have legal bud? It is a cosmic esthetic injustice, I tell you.
In my opinion, the entire world will become a better place
when Japan legalizes cannabis.

5. Cultivation Prowess----The Japanese are well-known for their fabulous achievements in
horticulture. They should grow cannabis, if only because they would be so incredibly good at it.
As far as I know, there is nothing in the Japanese culture or character that is inherently anti-cannabis.
If there is a stigma at all, it is because America put it there, and Japan accepted it.
Legalizing cannabis would be a solid statement of National confidence and independence
for Japan as a nation, in my opinion, without becoming militant or aggressive in any way.

Japan is a great, wonderful, colorful country already. But, IMO, adding a touch more green
would be all good. And it would be the right thing to do.

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