universal health care coverage in Japan

universal health care coverage in Japan

Japan is among the many countries that have universal health care coverage for the Japanese citizens. This discussion is going to provide a brief comparison between the state of affairs regarding the legalization of medical marijuana in Japan and the United States. Important to note is the fact that Japan is a state ruled under one federal government, this is unlike the U.S. that has many federal States within which laws may differ from state to state (Bestrashniy & Winters, 2015). The first difference is that whereas many states in the U.S. have legalized medical marijuana, the drug is still considered illegal in Japan.

The U.S has been steadily increasing its acceptance and awareness of medical marijuana, in Japan, however, there is still little knowledge of medical marijuana. The use of marijuana even for medicinal purposes is illegal.  There are ongoing court cases for activists and even cancer patient who are being charged with illegal possession of medical marijuana. The country is literally in denial of medical marijuana even for patients who are in dire need of it. In fact, the Japanese laws against marijuana are considered some of the strictest in the world (Miyaji, Nagasawa, Yamaguchi, & Tsutani, 2016). This situation is a stark contrast to what is happening in the U.S. where the state governments are increasingly legalizing the drug.

Due to the strict laws against medical cannabis, there has been little research done by the Japanese government or other private bodies in Japan. The situation in the U.S. is different; there have been a lot of researches done on medical cannabis in America. There are real stereotypes against the drug in Japan. Despite this the reality is slowly catching up; they may be behind America, but they will soon realize the drug has benefits (Proal, Fleming, Galvez-Buccollini, & DeLisi, 2014). Finally, the only similarity both countries share is that activism is the force behind the campaign to legalize medical cannabis. Both countries have activist groups who are campaigning for the legalization of medical marijuana.


Bestrashniy, J. & Winters, K. (2015). Variability in medical marijuana laws in the United States.Psychology Of Addictive Behaviors29(3), 639-642. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/adb0000111

Miyaji, T., Nagasawa, M., Yamaguchi, T., & Tsutani, K. (2016). Tackling the Pharmaceutical Frontier: Regulation of Cannabinoid-Based Medicines in Postwar Japan. Cannabis And Cannabinoid Research1(1), 31-37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/can.2015.0011

Proal, A., Fleming, J., Galvez-Buccollini, J., & DeLisi, L. (2014). A controlled family study of cannabis users with and without psychosis. Schizophrenia Research152(1), 283-288. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2013.11.014