Cannabis In Japan

CANNABIS CULTURE – Cannabis Culture cartoonist Gary Wintle’s weedy adventures smoking ‘taima’ in the Land of the Rising Fun.

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Japan is a place with a rich history of our pal marijuana; also known as taima, kusa or happa.

Unfortunately, western influence put thousands of years of a ganja-happy society to an end.

Things are a lot different now than they were in the past but that’s not to say Japan’s not a hell of a trip!

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It’s important to remember airport security when heading to Japan.

Carrying any “suspicious items” can lead to a crummy searching. That, plus having a skunky little stowaway in your bag can lead to BIG problems!

“Rastah” fashion is huge right now, but most locals don’t know much about toking. Also, pot leaves look very similar to Japanese maple leaves, so most folks don’t take any notice to the loads of ganja leaves decorating everything you can imagine!

But where’s the freakin’ WEED!? Scoring can be very tough in the land of the Rising fun.

Foreigners might get booted outta Japan for chronic capitalism, but locals’ll likely face a much worse fate!

Act fast or you may be forced to take desperate measures to get high!

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Like most places around the world, finding what you need is a matter of networking. Try places that speak English to avoid an extensive sign language session (but prepare to pay an extra middleman fee). Good pot-hunting spots include bars and outside head shops, but what’s best is talking to any down-to-earth foreigner at the many bars and schools gaijin frequent.

And finally, patience is rewarded! Ehhhh…?

What-what!? Expect a damn small amount of dank for a hefty price. A gram of the goods often comes to a buzz-killing ¥5000 to ¥8000! That’s a little over $50 to $80, dude!!

Quality’s actually pretty decent, but sometimes a bit random. One day you’ll get the golden Buddha bud, another you get stuff your stoner uncle wouldn’t bother giving away!

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Smokin’ your stash in peace gets tricky when in such a busy country, but relax…

It’s easy finding a semi-quiet place to use a trusty metal drink bottle for ninja high jinx!

Toking at home is always a great option! There’s shit loads of things like sticky sushi, addictive videogames, and tentacle-lovin’ hentai that go just peachy with the mad chronic.

When toking in public…

…beware of local bike cops…

…silent, but deadly!!!

There’s so many crazy things in Japan like art, music and fashion that’ve surely been conjured up in a funky purple haze. Imagine what could’ve been possible if Japanese artists and those all around the world were allowed to fully express their inner stoner without fear of persecution!

Only a matter of time until these dreams of major marijuana hit up reality and bring Japan back to its chronic glory. We now live in a global hippie village that’s ready to bud the world over!


Kimaru = I feel good (as in high)

Bondura = Marijuana face (y’know, being gooned)

Kusa, bon, ochappa, happa, green (gu-leenu) = All slang for marijuana

Hokkori shiyo (said with a musical tone) = Let’s smoke (together with friends)

Gary Wintle is illustrator of the book Hairy Pothead and the Marijuana Stone and a regular contributor to Cannabis Culture. Check out his website at



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  65. xDBS on

    Now that I think about it… Taima Sensei, May I have your #? 😀

  66. xDBS on

    Last time I visited Japan, I did not smoke at the time, but funny enough, mushrooms were legal.

    Anyways, my Japanese friends bought some green in the subways from an Iranian. Not sure if that’s how it still works now.

    And cops in Japan, tend to be fairly nice. But be careful, they due tend to stop “gaijins” or outsiders a lot.

    Good thing I somewhat look Japanese!

    But as I do smoke now, and I am planning to make another trip to the great country of the Risin sun, I just don’t know where Im gonna get my budduh, unless I get a big bag of cali dank and put it in a bottle in the ocean and hopefully it will make it way to japanese shores….

  67. Anonymous on

    Ya I’m defently going to japan soon…right after canada

  68. Anonymous on

    Nice stuff to check out/read while stoned. Makes me wanna go visit Japan even more !

  69. ROZMAN on


  70. Anonymous on

    This is really cool. It reminds me of Japan I lived there for 2 years. Thank you

  71. jeremiah on

    Editing is the easy part – like framing a beautiful painting.

  72. Frankbill on

    This artwork is amazing. So many little details and hidden things. Thanks for the great story!