On May 14 the health ministry decided to make the use of cannabis a crime under the cannabis control law in light of concerns about cannabis abuse among young people. Members of an expert committee agreed with the plan during a meeting held that day on the assumption that the government will support the rehabilitation of abusers and take measures against addiction.
The ministry will consider introducing penalties and start preparations for revising the law based on a report to be compiled by the expert committee in June.
The committee approved of the use of cannabis-derived medicines in Japan. The existing law prohibits the import of epilepsy treatment drugs that use cannabis. (Abridged)