Sunday, March 16, 2014
Just say no... in Japan.
Image borrowed from Japan Today, 3/15/14. Caption reads: What do you think of this ad by the Osaka Pharmaceutical Associations warning people to be aware of the danger of marijuana. It features Monster Engine, a comedy duo from Osaka, and says Dame Zettai or Absolutely No.
The bottom text includes the kanji characters for cannabis (大麻 or taima) and marijuana written in katakana (マリファナ or marifana). The text on the right side of the image can be translated as "the wrath of the gods." Monster Engine seems to have skits where they portray the play of the gods. Here is a YouTube clip to get an idea of who these guys are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJODLiCIvS8
I'm not sure whoever made this poster was thinking. Japan and the Osaka Pharmaceutical Associations need to reassess their ideas about marijuana, especially when countries, states and communities have lax laws or even support medical and/or recreational uses of it. An acquaintance of mine recently went to consult his English speaking Japanese doctor about stress related illnesses both mental and physical. The doctor prescribed handfuls of pills without explaining possible side effects. My acquaintance did some simple research on the internet and found many negative side effects of the stress relieving prescriptions, including addiction, depression and sexual dysfunction that would not go away for two years after the use of the drugs. At their next meeting my acquaintance asked the doctor about medical marijuana in Japan. The doctor just laughed... "Oh! Not in Japan!"
I recently had a cold and went to the doctor and requested a prescription for a strong cough syrup. He seemed confused. Both my Japanese interpreter and I extensively explained what I wanted and he seemed to understand. When I took the prescription to the drug store I was handed four different sets of pills and no cough syrup. The doctor didn't seem to understand in the end, or perhaps he thought he knew best and simply prescribed drugs made by company members of the Osaka Pharmaceutical Associations.
It would be nice if individuals had the opportunity, choice and respect to collaborate in their own health... And not be subject to such blatantly biased (and misinformed) propaganda. (Sorry for the rant. Being sick sucks no matter where you are...)