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Following the arrest of a Nihon University rugby club member for possession of marijuana, former actress turned marijuana legalization activist Saya Takagi has taken to Twitter to condemn Japan's harsh cannabis laws. While quoting a story about the 21-year old student's arrest, Takagi posted the following Tweet, which reads:
"Now that we know the history and truth of marijuana, the laws regarding marijuana in Japan are nothing other than a violation of human rights. It's really scary how this misunderstanding has been instilled in the public. Why don't we rethink why it's a crime?"
Under the Cannabis Control Act, marijuana use and possession in Japan is criminalized, and simple possession can result in a sentence of 5 years in prison. Furthermore, the social stigma and social condemnation of drug use is long lasting, and in the case of those with high public profiles, potentially career ending.
Takagi retired from the entertainment industry to become an activist against reliance on nuclear energy and fossil fuel, as well as for the legalization of medical marijuana--one of her biggest platforms when running for an Upper House seat in Japan. She herself was arrested for possession of marijuana (55 grams) in 2016 and given a suspended one year prison sentence.