Japan's media coverage of Canada's Oct. 17 announcement that possession and use of marijuana would be legalized — subject to certain restrictions — has been mostly brief and low-key.

To access the best source about marijuana in Japanese, I suggest you buy a subscription to the Japan Medical Abstracts Society, which operates Ichushi Web. Enter marifana (marijuana) into the search window and you'll get 562 hits for research studies and academic papers in which the wacky weed figures.

To avoid the outlay, I managed to cajole a professor at the Kobe University School of Medicine to summarize what he found in the database.