A dispatch from a friend in Japan with an interest in cannabis and public policy:
I just returned from an event which was attended by probably all the activists you know, including Marui, Maeda, Akahoshi, etc. Taskashi Okanuma was there are also. He was the one who told me about it.
A total of over 150 people attended, including some politicians. The crowd was mixed, from hippie types to lawyers in suits, but mostly just ordinary looking people, from young to old.
I was wondering to start with if it was going to be a pro-legalisation or a pro-hemp even, but it was all of the above, with no fear of contact as there had been before where some people talking about “hemp” would not want to mention “taima”.
The speeches were well presented and the organisation was efficient. I was impressed. I think everyone felt encouraged by this get-together. One guy from Okinawa reported how he and other repeatedly applied for and finally received a license.
At the end all the veterans of the movement were on stage together, ready to work together for one goal.
I had chances to talk to the guys from cannabist.org, to Mr Maeda, Mr Marui and also Takashi. Besides me the only gaijin was a Professor originally from the UK who lectures economy at a university in Kanagawa, a nice guy.
Overall it was a great and I think important event.