According to bills revealed on Tuesday, the government is poised to allow the use of medical marijuana to treat patients with intractable diseases.
The bill to change the Cannabis Control Law during the current Diet session is being considered by the government.
The proposed revision would criminalize the use of marijuana.
In countries such as the United States and Britain, medicine made from cannabis plants is used to treat patients with intractable epilepsy and other diseases for which existing drugs are ineffective.
Cannabis plants contain a substance that has an intoxicating effect, which is one of the reasons why the use of marijuana in medicine is prohibited in Japan. The proposed revision would allow patients to use drugs made from cannabis plants.
There are no penalties for the use of marijuana because farmers who cultivate cannabis with permission from prefectural governors might intake substances from the plant during harvesting.
Marijuana is said to be a gateway drug and is said to lead to other forms of drug abuse. The government intends to strengthen the crackdown on marijuana to prevent abuse of the drug among young people, which is becoming a social problem.