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Sun Mar 24, 2019, 08:20 PM

Cannabis: the fabric of Japan


Workers harvest cannabis at a licensed farm in Tochigi Prefecture. | JUNICHI TAKAYASU

JON MITCHELL | SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES | April 2014

When Junichi Takayasu was 3 years old, a picture book about ninjas changed his life forever. What fascinated him most, however, wasn’t the assassins’ stealthy skills or secret gadgets but their usage of a very special plant.

“The book showed how ninjas trained by jumping over cannabis plants,” Takayasu says. “Every day they had to leap higher and higher because cannabis grows very quickly. I was so amazed that I told my mom I wanted to grow cannabis when I was older.”

Understandably, Takayasu’s mother was rather distressed by her son’s aspiration. Japan’s anti-cannabis laws are among the strictest in the world, with possession of even small amounts punished by five-year prison sentences and illicit cultivation earning growers seven years behind bars.

However, Takayasu refused to let this put a damper on his dreams. Today, more than 40 years later, he is one of Japan’s leading experts on cannabis and the curator of Taima Hakubutsukan — the nation’s only museum dedicated to the much-maligned weed. Opened in 2001 in the town of Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, approximately 160 km north of Tokyo, the museum’s mission is to teach people about the history of cannabis in Japan — a past that, Takayasu believes, has been denigrated and forgotten for far too long...snip

...Following the country’s defeat in 1945, however, the U.S. authorities occupying Japan brought with them American attitudes toward cannabis. Washington had effectively outlawed cannabis in the United States in 1937 and now it moved to ban it in Japan. In July 1948, with the nation still under U.S. occupation, it passed the Cannabis Control Act — the law that remains the basis of anti-cannabis policy in Japan today...more: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2014/04/19/lifestyle/cannabis-the-fiber-of-japan/

Related: The US GOV Holds a patent on the use of the main ingredient in Cannabis

Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants

US Patent #6,630,507 October 7, 2003
Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC)
link to patent

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