Officials warn Olympic athletes against using marijuana at 2020 Tokyo games

Designer Tokujin Yoshioka and Torch Relay Ambassador Tadahiro Nomura unveil the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games torch in Tokyo on Mar. 20, 2019 | Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

Competitors hoping to win Olympic gold in 2020 are forbidden to use cannabis at the upcoming games, despite what their laws may allow at home.

Tokyo 2020 organizers on Tuesday made an announcement to warn countries with reformed cannabis laws that marijuana remains illegal in Japan, according to an AFP report.

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“There are countries and regions around the world that have relaxed rules recently on the use of cannabis,” said Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto in a news conference. “The use of cannabis constitutes a violation of the law in Japan and that needs to be fully communicated.”

The announcement seems worth acknowledging, considering the remarkable number of countries actively working to reform cannabis prohibition worldwide.

Punishment for marijuana-related crimes in Japan are harsh, as personal use could lead to up to five years in prison, and seven years for selling pot.

Japan does not seem hesitant to enact their laws, as the country indefinitely banned two Japanese snowboarders from international competition by the Ski Association of Japan after consuming cannabis during a 2015 U.S. tour.

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Although this particular announcement was meant specifically for athletes, spectators are also banned from using all tobacco products and vaping devices throughout all indoor and outdoor Olympic and Paralympic venues, including all perimeter areas of the Tokyo Games, reports the Associated Press.

Organizers believe their regulations will be tougher than the last two Summer Olympics in London and Rio de Janeiro.

“Tokyo 2020 aims to leave a legacy of improved health for the country at large,” organizers said in a statement.

Oscar Pascual is the editor of Smell the Truth, syndicated on GreenState and SFGATE. Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by Hearst. The authors are solely responsible for the content.