The enduring motto of the Olympics is “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” but organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics warned visitors this week they better leave behind any thoughts of getting “higher” in Japan. More specifically, 2020 organizers noted to countries with more open marijuana laws like the United States that cannabis is prohibited in Japan.
“There are countries and some regions around the world that have relaxed rules recently,” said Toshiro Muto, chief executive of the Tokyo Olympics. “Unfortunately, the use of cannabis constitutes a violation of law and that needs to be thoroughly communicated.”
Muto admitted such a warning wasn’t something the committee initially planned on issuing. But at least one member of the executive board expressed concern about visitors, including athletes, not understanding weed is seriously banned in Japan.
“The comment from the member is that it’s important that we inform all the participants that use of cannabis is prohibited by law in Japan,” Muto said, speaking through his translator.
Japan has long held a zero-tolerance policy toward cannabis and narcotics in general. Just last year concern rippled throughout the country over rising cannabis rates amongst youth, who want to be “like foreign musicians.” In addition, the Japan Times reported 2018 was the first year marijuana users surpassed paint huffers in the country. A recent Japanese print advertisement instructed would-be drug users to just eat udon instead, just so you understand how tone-deaf the country can be regarding drugs.
Cannabis is among the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency for the upcoming Summer Games. Muto emphasized that Japan would enforce anti-doping measures when the Olympics begin next July.