crime

American man arrested for smuggling marijuana in candy

77 Comments

Police have arrested a 36-year-old American man on suspicion of smuggling marijuana hidden inside candy into Japan.

According to Kanagawa prefectural police, Ryan White, 36, imported 208 pieces of candy, which contained 7.8 grams of marijuana inside them, via air mail that arrived at Narita international airport on Nov 29, Fuji TV reported. White, who came to Japan in mid-November, was working at a restaurant in Nozawa Onzen, Nagano Prefecture, at the time.

The marijuana was discovered in the candy box by a Kanagawa customs officer and then sent on to White.

Police said White has admitted to the charge and said he asked a friend to send the package to him. He was quoted as saying he needed the marijuana as relief from pain from a snowboarding injury and that he paid $600 for it.

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77 Comments
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7.8 kgs of marijuana?! That's either a typo, or this guy is going away for a very long time.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Must have been edibles.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yes, it was a typo. 7.8 grams is the correct figure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have to wonder why people go through so much trouble and take such huge risks for such a small amount of pleasure.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

his excuse of pain relief will not wash. he is either going to jail or going home.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I have to wonder why people go through so much trouble and take such huge risks for such a small amount of pleasure.

While I agree with you that it's just not worth the risk, it looks like he wasn't getting it for pleasure, but rather for it's medicinal value:

He was quoted as saying he needed the marijuana as relief from pain from a snowboarding injury

2 ( +5 / -3 )

While I agree with you that it's just not worth the risk, it looks like he wasn't getting it for pleasure, but rather for it's medicinal value

Codeine-laced meds can be bought over the counter here. I would imagine that's at least equally effective, legal and he's not going to run out in a couple weeks.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Why would you go do something that stupid here its just not worth it.He will get a couple of years in the clink and then never to return to Japan ever never.Great way to spend your working holiday.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow! Lucky this wasn't Indonesia or Philippines! Would have been swift justice with some bandits on mopeds picking him up for a final ride,,,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's pretty much everywhere in Japan, why try to smuggle it into the country?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Disillusioned "It's pretty much everywhere in Japan, why try to smuggle it into the country?"

I have lived in Osaka and Tokyo for a total of 16 years and never caught a whiff of it once.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

We'll find out just how much traveling he does. By the way, is it just a coincidence that everybody I seei in our nearby San Francisco marijuana dispensary, (yes a big wall of glass windows to it) looks about 25 years old? You'd think the old folks would be the one's needing it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Codeine-laced meds can be bought over the counter here. I would imagine that's at least equally effective, legal and he's not going to run out in a couple weeks.

It's what I would do - I'm not going to risk my life(style) to get some medical marijuana in Japan.

But if both were legal, I would pretty much never choose an opioid over marijuana. Ridiculous numbers of people have destroyed their lives from opioid addictions, and you can die from an overdose of opioids, but not on marijuana.

Which is just another reason why the war on drugs is ridiculous.

It's pretty much everywhere in Japan, why try to smuggle it into the country?

News to me. Same as reckless I never see it.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

By the way, is it just a coincidence that everybody I seei in our nearby San Francisco marijuana dispensary, (yes a big wall of glass windows to it) looks about 25 years old? You'd think the old folks would be the one's needing it.

Could be some of the misconceptions older people in the US still have about marijuana? I've walked around Kitsilano beach in Vancouver, and saw middle aged people smoking joints like they're regualr tobacco. I bet the older demographic will grow as it becomes legal and more common in the US.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I bet this is the guy who buys all the hash potato in my local Lawson.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I have lived in Osaka and Tokyo for a total of 16 years and never caught a whiff of it once.

Same, or maybe im not visiting the right neighborhoods or mingling with the right people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

commanteer -

" Codeine-laced meds can be bought over the counter here. " What would be the name of such meds?

I sometimes do online pharmacy orders from Australia and was in all sorts of shite a few years back when my order included "Disprin Forte". This soluble asprin also contains 9.5mg of codeine phosphate(I think the limit is 7-8mg in Japan). I had a battle with customs and had many forms to fill out - not to get the tablets - just to say I don't want them because they only cost me about ¥400 for 24. Just throw them away - but no, as I had imported them, it all had to be done officially. Took over a week . So I'm curious about these codeine-laced meds.

And also, as I understand - the marijuana was not "Hidden" in candy, but is mixed in production of the candy and is the way it is purchased legally in the US.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

it looks like he wasn't getting it for pleasure, but rather for it's medicinal value

We'll let his medical reports do the talking. Before Cali legalized marijuana, everyone smoking it said they had glaucoma to make it look legal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

He was a fool. If he has chronic pain, he can get pharmaceutical meds and other therapies. If the pain is that bad and he can't get help here, he could have gone back to the US or a country with good affordable healthcare in Asia and got it sorted. Also, of course you can buy weed here if you know where to go and who to ask. You obviously can't smell it on the streets - that's a laughable idea!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

He bought some edibles. Unfortunately, many of the products still smell like marijuana.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Two birds one stone, high and the munchies in one bite. Now it will be one stone and one hammer.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

he could have gone back to the US or a country with good affordable healthcare

Ha ha! -- I love that choice.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Accurately speaking, edibles do not contain marijuana, they contain THC that is derived from it, and they are essentially fragrance free, ergo they smell like any other confection made from the same ingredients. 200-odd pieces would probably contain about 8g of THC, not 8g of marijuana.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Reckless - I have lived in Osaka and Tokyo for a total of 16 years and never caught a whiff of it once.

I guess you don't get out much.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Those of you who don't know that weed is everywhere must not have any Japanese friends they hang out with. It's really everywhere.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have lived in Osaka and Tokyo for a total of 16 years and never caught a whiff of it once.

Seriously? Roppongi on a Saturday night...?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What would be the name of such meds?

When I need it, I use a very effective cough syrup called アネトン。 I assume that's not the only med it's used in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Laws are laws.

No sympathies from me.

Zero, Nada.

Their country, their rules.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@ Reckless and Papigiulio. If you really want to get stoned go to Hokkaido, especially around Kitami and Abashiri,they are notorious. But I strongly suggest you take banji jumping or rock climbing. ..if you want to get high ;-)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There's no FDA like there is in Japan. I stayed away from all the drugs stores in Japan because their cough medicines contained codine and they would sell other medications that you would illegal to sell in the US over the counter that is much more harmful than marijuana.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The demonization of marijuana in Japan is beyond ridiculous.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Geoff,

No one in their right mind who moved to Japan not just to be "that gaijin" goes to roppingi... ever.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Opioids are in a lot of meds and easy to get but who wants stomach cramps and pancreatitis and addicted to them they are deadly and can kill you. Only a fool would want an opioid addiction as only death will come about the use of them for recreational use. Big Pharma loves you to eat them pills as they only hear money.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

He need Laila time and than deported

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Geoff Gillespie at Jan. 06, 2017 - 08:57PM JST I have lived in Osaka and Tokyo for a total of 16 years and never caught a whiff of it once.

"Seriously? Roppongi on a Saturday night...?"

Been in Japan around four decades and never been to Roppingi on any night of the week. Also know plenty of people here who use weed but I have the sense not to hang with them when/where they are indulging. A night in Roppongi isn't my idea of fun and neither is spending any of my precious time being interrogated by the police.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Seriously? Roppongi on a Saturday night...?

Good grief! That is NOT the place to go hunting for drugs. Half of the people selling it are cops and the other half are selling grass clippings and powdered sugar!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He should have ordered Marijuana Oil instead of Marijuana if he wanted to use it as pain release. There are many pain release medicines available by prescription in Japan. Why he didn't go to see GP?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why he didn't go to see GP

Because his excuse is just a ruse to get high.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Even though I hold that the State has no legitimate authority to regulate any substance that one would want to ingest, I also hold that the "getting high", for the sheer sake of pleasure is incorrect. There are plenty of legal pain medications...no need to break the law with Marijuana.

(Note: I am more than happy to give a rational explanation as to the grounding for my above conclusions. )

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"I have lived in Osaka and Tokyo for a total of 16 years and never caught a whiff of it once"

Bro... It is EVERYWHERE in Japan. I am not crazy enough to touch the stuff here, it ain't worth it plain and simple, but good lord, I have run into it probably 25 times in 10 years in every corner of Japan from the sticks to the cities. It's everywhere.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh come on Japan, just legalize it already. Don't be left behind AGAIN.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Let's see...NOT famous, and NOT Japanese...suspended sentence NOT

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Meanringo,

Do you not mean to say that Japan is left ahead of other nations? Surely you do not believe that the U.S. is ahead of Japan in anything do you? (unless you are referring to 'evil', then to be sure, the U.S. leads...)

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Surely you do not believe that the U.S. is ahead of Japan in anything do you?

The US is well ahead of Japan when it comes to attitudes towards marijuana.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Strangerland,

If, U.S. attitudes towards anything are to be taken as a sign of it being ahead of Japan, then surely that would mean that the U.S. is ahead of Japan on the road to destruction. A nation that condones the use of any substance as a means to get high, and this must be the case for U.S. music is pervasive with drug use, is surely a nation that has lost its moral compass and is adrift in a sea of destruction.

"Let me write the songs of a nation--I don't care who writes its laws." Andrew Fletcher, Scottish political activist (1655-1716)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

U.S. attitudes towards anything are to be taken as a sign of it being ahead of Japan, then surely that would mean that the U.S. is ahead of Japan on the road to destruction.

That's a non-sequitur. Your conclusion is not logically supported by your premise.

A nation that condones the use of any substance as a means to get high, and this must be the case for U.S. music is pervasive with drug use, is surely a nation that has lost its moral compass and is adrift in a sea of destruction.

By that logic, every country that permits alcohol usage is a nation that has lost its moral compass and is adrift in a sea of destruction. For the only difference between alcohol and drugs is the legal status. To continue on with that, by your logic the only nations that could be considered to have not lost their moral compass would be Islamic nations that ban alcohol.

And finally, the use of mind-altering substances has been part of the history of pretty much the entire human race, since the dawn of civilization. Trying to stop people from doing this is a modern construct, one that has left us with the war on drugs, which has been an entirely unmitigated disaster.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Maybe he went Japan from Colorado..Colorado legalized candied M. These M merchants haven't got license in other states,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

commanteer - thanks.

Yes codeine is in meds but the quantities are small by law. The codeine in your cough syrup is probably the minor ingredient and you'd need to swig a lot to get a big hit from it. But I don't know about it.

All I know is that 9.5mg codeine / asprin tablet was deemed by customs as an illegal import of a controlled substance.

Maybe I'll have to check out アネトン - you know - in case I catch a cold!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The amount he claimed to have paid for the 7.8 grams ($600) is way too high (no pun intended). You can buy a gram of high quality marijuana at one of the dispensaries in Colorado or Oregon for $12.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No one in their right mind who moved to Japan not just to be "that gaijin" goes to roppingi... ever.

I bet you never went there then, if you were you would notice that Roppong is not just full of evil Gaijin looking for meat market and drugs, there are also people, in their right mind, who just enjoy clubbing time with their friends, stop the demonization and the patronizing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He was quoted as saying he needed the marijuana as relief from pain from a snowboarding injury

Sounds like an excuse to try to soften the blow.

Oh come on Japan, just legalize it already. Don't be left behind AGAIN.

If you really think it will get legalized anytime soon you will surely be disappointed. It was mainstream in the states for a long time before some states started legalizing it. Most Japanese have no connection to marijuana so there is no pressure to legalize it, at least outside of hospitals or other controlled environments.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The amount he claimed to have paid for the 7.8 grams ($600) is way too high (no pun intended). You can buy a gram of high quality marijuana at one of the dispensaries in Colorado or Oregon for $12.

Those are American prices. He had to ask someone to mail it for him - something that takes a risk. That would add some markup I would imagine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How did the Japanese customs detect the cannabis?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It appears the candies were lollipops. I don't know if the police baggied them individually or the accomplice did.

Maybe it was worth $600, if the accomplice hand-filled each one (over 200, from the photo). And maybe planned to sell them individually.

http://cdn.mainichi.jp/vol1/2017/01/06/20170106k0000m040029000p/9.jpg

Hawkeye: How did the Japanese customs detect the cannabis?

Probably dogs. Or suspicious about 200+ individually bagged lollipops.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

M and cigarettes had been outdated in USA for quite hears myyybe he thought t open market for gullible foreigners living in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Drugs are for losers

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I know Japanese detectives here. He will be convicted, pay a fine and deported. That is it. No jail.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Lots of legal Stuff to take the pain away. It's amazing how some people are issued passports. If you're gonna live in a foreign land you have to abide by the law.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Never mind all that. $600 for 7.8 grams, boy he got screwed

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As it was edibles, it probably wasn't marijuana, but rather an extract. 7.8 grams of that would be much more expensive than regular marijuana, and much more potent.

I know Japanese detectives here. He will be convicted, pay a fine and deported. That is it. No jail.

I'd be amazed if he wasn't in jail right now. There's pretty much zero chance he's not.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Strangerland

Somewhat pedantic, maybe, but he can't be in "jail" till he's been convicted and sentenced by a court. He's very likely confined to a cell in pre-trial detention, which is equally distressing, but that's not the same. He's a prisoner but not a convict.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Somewhat pedantic, maybe, but he can't be in "jail" till he's been convicted and sentenced by a court. He's very likely confined to a cell in pre-trial detention, which is equally distressing, but that's not the same. He's a prisoner but not a convict.

I can't give anyone a hard time on being pedantic, as I'm probably one of the most pedantic posters on the site. So no worries.

Your post led me to look up 'jail', to see if I was misusing it:

a prison, especially one for the detention of persons awaiting trial or convicted of minor offenses.

Link: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/jail?r=75&src=ref&ch=dic

I think that pre-trial custody fits this definition.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

" $600 for 7.8 grams"

Wow, whatever happened to $35 for 28 grams, lol.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Stranger

My (paper) Oxford dictionary allows your definition, but adds "Now specifically a public prison for the detention of people committed by process of law."

As so often it seems to be a US/UK thing.

Call it a draw.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What are his chances of being granted bail from this pre-trail detention center?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Ex

Kind of my point.

He has no chance of bail because he's not in gaol.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Call it a draw.

Sounds fair.

He has no chance of bail because he's not in gaol.

What do you mean? (Honest question).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Stranger

Sorry. And sorry Ex_Res.

Complete brain meltdown. I confused "bail" with "early release".

My brain's not what it used to be.... :(

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder how much time he spent thinking this through. A Darwin Award honorable mention at least.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I remember going to a Bar in Shinjuku back in the 80's where a bunch of Japanese were getting stoned right in the bar. Ahhh... the good old days when most Japanese Police didn't even know what weed smelled like.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It could have been a serious crime if he sold them in Japan. Who knows what he really wanted to do with them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@strangerland and lubracasi

Perhaps holding cell? As for bail, he will be a flight risk unless he surrenders his passport so 50/50.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Lol what a tosser , he could go to Roppongi and get a bit of hash or crack or what ever kills the pain, Maybe some Hire Zaki would have done the job.. Should deport a few more of his fellow countrymen..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan needs to legalize weed. End of story.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He shouldn't go outside of Colorado. But even in Colorado, he has to show his doctor's instruction pap' et to pirchase quantity and how much a day he has to take, Even so he Weil, get rested in other states that I am sure he knows.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Strangerland, you wrote, "By that logic, every country that permits alcohol usage is a nation that has lost its moral compass and is adrift in a sea of destruction. For the only difference between alcohol and drugs is the legal status. To continue on with that, by your logic the only nations that could be considered to have not lost their moral compass would be Islamic nations that ban alcohol."

Do you see where your equivocation takes place? I had initially written "...condones..", and you have equivocated and inserted 'permits". I hold that a country ought not have any say-so in what substances are legal to ingest. That, is "permitting". "Condoning" would be that the country gives it's stamp approval to the act. Congratulations on knocking out your Straw Man!

You conclude, "And finally, the use of mind-altering substances has been part of the history of pretty much the entire human race, since the dawn of civilization. Trying to stop people from doing this is a modern construct, one that has left us with the war on drugs, which has been an entirely unmitigated disaster." __Agreed. Altering ones state of mind by ingesting substances has been around for a very long time. However, do you not see a difference between the claim of how things are, and how they ought to be?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What a idiot! Lock him up for a few years.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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