Japan to legalise medical cannabis

The Japanese government is set to allow the medical use of cannabis to treat patients with incurable conditions, while cracking down on recreational consumers.

The Japanese government plans to submit several bills, including one which would see the revision of the Cannabis Control Act, during the current session of the Diet, Japan’s national legislature, according to local media reports.

Possession, sale and cultivation of cannabis for recreational and medical purposes is currently illegal in Japan, along with the manufacturing of medicines derived from the plant. The proposed revision would enable patients with conditions such as refractory epilepsy to use drugs made from cannabis plants.

The first moves towards legalising medical cannabis in Japan have only concerned the authorisation of Epidyolex, a pharmaceutical CBD oil prescribed for certain types of rare refractory epilepsy, which has been approved for use by the US FDA and European health authorities.

However, the proposed revision would further criminalise recreational cannabis consumers.

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