Bureaucrats Reject Petition to Downgrade Cannabis Classification

The Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Health and Welfare rejected a citizen-initiated call for the re-classification of cannabis from a schedule 2 class drug, to schedule 3 class drug, and consideration of the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The proposal was made on an online platform of the National Development Council (NDC), and after receiving more than 5000 supporting votes, proposals moved forward to the appropriate authorities.

The NDC online platform was set up to encourage public participation in national policymaking.

The initial proposal was made by citizens in July, and proponents pointed to various European and American governments’ decriminalization of the herb. Supporters cited various medical studies that showed that cannabis carried less risk of addiction and bodily harm than other schedule 2 class drugs such as amphetamines, schedule 3 drugs such as ketamine, and even legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.

Schedule I: heroin, morphine, cocaine, opium
Schedule II: amphetamine, cannabis, methamphetamine, MDMA, methadone
Schedule III: flunitrazepam, ketamine
Schedule IV: lorazepam、zolpidem

The Ministry of Justice held a meeting of the Drug Committee, October 26, bringing together prosecutors, police, members of the judiciary, and prison administrators, as well as psychiatry, pharmacology and toxicology experts. The committee found no reason to reclassify cannabis as a schedule 3 drug, and maintained it should continue to be regarded in the same class as amphetamines.

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