Japanese Citizen and Marijuana Activist/Patient Want U.S. Asylum so He Can Smoke Pot Legally
A Japanese medical marijuana patient battling Crohn's disease, in what he describes as a fight for his life, is desperately trying to gain political/medical asylum in the United States, because his homeland's government says cannabis is not a medicine.
Kenichi Nalita, the very first medical marijuana user to fight for his rights in Japanese courts, told Toke of the Town that he hopes the U.S. will accept him as a political prisoner seeking asylum, since he can obtain medicinal cannabis in California but not in Japan.
"I'm a patient of Crohn's disease," Nalita told us. "And I guess you might know that my disease is able to be taken care of by a couple grams of cannabis per day. It controls my immune system and inflammation, and also helps rebuilding mucous membranes in my bowel.
"That's exactly what Western medications (steroids, immune inhibition treatment, anti-inflammatories) are trying to do," he said. "And it's even better, without any diet limitation and no severe side effects."
In an ironic twist, the United States is the reason cannabis is even illegal in Japan, according to Nalita. After World
War II, when Japan was under U.S. military rule, the puppet government there was coerced into passing marijuana prohibition similar to that of the United States.
"Did you know that the U.S. government forced Japan to start the abuse on cannabis?" he asked us.
"It's what's written on the abuse law itself," Nalita said. "If Douglas MacArthur -- who was born a century before me -- didn't do that to Japan, my life could be totally different. Before that, it was a national plant. Japan's first religion, 'Shin-tou,' is deeply related to it.
"Japan was a country of cannabis," Nalita told us. "But too sad, there is no 'if' in reality. The result is this: Where are my human rights?"