Couple arrested for growing marijuana on apartment rooftop after neighbor tips off police


A couple in Kanagawa Prefecture have been arrested for growing marijuana on the roof of their apartment building.

According to police, 15 plants were discovered on the roof of a building in Ebina afte a neighbor called to report seeing marijuana-like plants.

TV Asahi reported that police searched the roof and found the plants in a greenhouse made of plastic sheeting. According to investigators, the couple responsible were a 56-year-old man and his 32-year-old wife. It is believed the pair were renting the apartment and that the roof was open to residents to use as a place to hang out laundry.

During police questioning, the couple were quoted as saying that the marijuana was intended for personal use.

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15 plants for personal use? i'm afraid that's not really gonna stand in a court of law. I don't know what the penalty is for smoking, growing or selling weed in Japan. Any passerby here care to comment? I'm always willing to learn whatever i can

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

"15 plants for personal use?"

Maybe they have kids.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

15 plants for personal use? i'm afraid that's not really gonna stand in a court of law.

You mean as a defense against a possible accusation of being drug dealers? Well, if anyone thinks the number cannot possibly be for personal use, they don't know a damned thing about marijuana.

Anyway, why can't neighbors just keep their fat mouths shut? Wish I knew who the snitch was so I could go have a word with them.

20 ( +23 / -4 )

...why can't neighbors just keep their fat mouths shut?

Easy enough to see. This couple probably used communal space for their little greehouse and some neighbor got p***ed at them for doing so. I can imagine no one had the guts to complain to the couple about it and instead went to the "experts" - the police, for them to handle it.

You have to be pretty dumb to grow illegal herbs in a place like that.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Easy enough to see.

Images on the eyes do not necessitate a flapping of the gums.

I can imagine no one had the guts to complain to the couple about it and instead went to the "experts" - the police, for them to handle it.

What I know for sure is that at least one did not have the guts to shut up. If the cops come knocking, you just feign ignorance. At that point you fairly say the plants belong to so and so, but you don't have to admit you thought it was marijuana all along. In fact, you tell the police to their face that you cannot possibly be expected to recognize marijuana, as its illegal!

You have to be pretty dumb to grow illegal herbs in a place like that.

I don't know. It may have been a spot on the roof hidden to view. It seriously might have been a nosey neighbor who saw someone in an odd place and decided to investigate, and otherwise, no one would have been any wiser.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

You have to be pretty dumb to grow illegal herbs in a place like that.

More so than that, you have to be pretty dumb to make this herb illegal!

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Well, with Japan's laws the way they are, and the police the way they are here, the neighbor just ruined that couple's lives.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Another victimless crime prevented! I feel much safer now.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

If they were dumb enough to grow 15 plants in a pubic area where the area "was open to residents to use as a place to hang out laundry" then they deserve to be caught, talk about moronic.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Pot is such a non-big deal. A lot of things would just be easier if no-one bothered to make laws about it, no-one bothered to enforce any laws that got made. A waste of time police-enforcing, growers-worrying about, neighbors-fearing about, gangsters-warring about, cancer patients sickening about. Legalize.

But witht the laws the way they are, yes the couple just had their lives ruined, and should've probably not done it. Especially not in a public place, kinda dumb. I don't care if it was a "hidden corner" of the roof- 15 plants, and they get like over 2m! It's like a cheech and chong movie. "Yeah, hun, I bet no-one'll notice", "No, no WAY they could notice if we put them, like, way over here." (toke)

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Some inquisitive neighbors... none of your business. Marijuana is herb ( har bu in Japanese ) it has no radio active.. substance

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Roughten meddling neighbours!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I now know why marijuana is illigal, because it causes munchies and people will start eating all the food and the reason for world hunger.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's amazing this is even news, I love Japan!

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

I wonder if they were friends with the Robuttics dude?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Where did they get the seeds in the first place if it's so illegal here? Does Japan have a cannabis culture? There should be a movement to get canabis made legal here, it could solve many of Japan's big problems. There are millions of cool little cafes here, just imagine how much cooler the would be if they could sell weed and hash.

5 ( +6 / -1 )


Everyone hates a snitch, but in Japan, concerning MJ, you have to expect anyone that sees the plants to call the police. It's a foregone conclusion. I feel bad for these two, but it was a very dumb place to grow especially since it's a roof open to all the residents.

If I were going to grow, theoretically, I would either do it inside with an HID lighting system or outside in an unused hatake, of which there are plenty in the countryside. Stealth is of the utmost importance, obviously.


There should be a movement to get canabis made legal here

There is a small movement. Check out

Also, there are yearly Marijuana Marches in Tokyo and Osaka. Check the link. This year Tokyo only.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

fifeteen plants is not enough for personal use. i smoke pot like a freight train rolling. now they will have to go buy their stuff on the streets. that is no fun. japan needs some serious pot reforms.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Japan as a self-policing society. Who needs cops when you have the neighbors?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They said personal use -- but every one who would have used it as such can claim the marijuana they got is for personal use; point being, personal use for whom and how many? Could be twisted any way you like.

Anyway, nosy neighbour!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Another blow against a drug cartel.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Sneaky, nosy neighbors. Yeah, some of you have already said that. I can only concur. Their own lives are so boring and miserable, they have to make it miserable for others as well. They can't stand it when others have some fun in life!

4 ( +6 / -2 )


Yeah, man, it would be really cool. You just keep thinkin, there. Just watch out you don't think yerself all the way into the penitentiary.

Stranger- you too. In the states they find all those indoor growers by how much electricity they are using i.e. way too much. Usuing an open field is about as safe as these two using the public roof. Have herd stories of stoners borrowing unused hatake and growing weed and then getting in trouble.

My personal conclusion is in Japan it is just not worth it, unless like you have a family member with cancer and you really really want to help them even if it means getting in trouble.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Am I the only one who thinks the neighbours were right to call the police? If it was me I'd have called the police too.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

In the states they find all those indoor growers

No, they don't.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tb2, why would you call the police?

2 ( +2 / -0 )


out of the ppl on this thread, I guess you may be.


No, they don't.

They do too!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Dope and Dopeyer

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let em go! Let em go. Yes, it was stupid to grow it in a public area of an apt. building but who are the hurting?? Let em go!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Had a friend who grew on the top of a hill on an out of the way island where only old folk tread. Made off like a bandit and no one was the wiser. In fact, quite a few of us got a whole lot stupider, for just a few hours every evening for quite some time. Stoned is a great way to see Japan. Wish more people would do it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"after neighbor tips off police"

I'm sure my neighbor would tip off the police if she found I was growing weed, heck, she'd tell the cops if she saw me put out the trash the night before collection the next morning, lol.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

On the Reservation in Oklahoma USA, Marijuana grow's everywhere and no one really care's, Everybody who want's it can get a grocery bag full of it for ten dollars, or trade for a jar of moonshine. But most of the older folk don't have an opinion, and don't really mess with it. I Feel sorry for people who get into trouble over a weed. Hunting, Dog's,Guns, Ammo, Moonshine tend to be more important. Reservation Police don't enforce marijuana, But they will smash up a good copper still. Here if some one called police for weed they would be laughed at....However in the USA Marijana is againt's federal law. Many states have made it legal for medicine, but DEA still close's dispensaries down all the time. Personally, Growing plant's seem's harmless to me. I have a friend who grow's forty plant's every year, and it last's him till next season. So fifteen plants don't seem like much. I don't know what the law's are in japan, but on the reservation's you can grow, just don't get caught distilling whisky. The rat fink neighbor will probually be shunned for getting that couple into trouble, right or wrong......

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ Serrano (and everyone else with nosy neighbors) - I once had a neighbor who would literally go through my trash (in the blue or yellow recycle bags) after I put it at the curb, remove anything that he felt was misplaced, and leave it for me to re-bag later.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Neigbours definitely are nosy about all things that don't fit in with the collective. This happened in an urban area as well. Now growing in a communal place ... they are dumb for doing so - agreed. Growing outside in plain sight of others ... even dumber. Knowing how the laws are here even about seeds, these 2 people should've been a little smarter. A couple of the right lamps, a few heat shields, and a little closet space is all they needed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Someone should hide some illegal stimulants in the tattle-tale's apartment and tip off the police!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You break a law, surprise!! You end up in jail?? My guess if your brain cells are too fried you will never understand that marijuana will make fat, stupid and lazy!! Just go to a Walmart in any town, USA and we can see all the effects of marijuana walking around or trying to walk if they still can, do we want safety Japan to become one huge Walmart??

-6 ( +1 / -7 )


yeah, right! pot is behind obesity in the us. sounds to me like you've been smoking some hi-grade stuff!


the "rat fink" neighbors here are as likely to be seen as heroes or normal here in jpn. For one thing, ppl have an unnatural fear of the weed here in jpn. second, maintaing public order and decency are of the utmost importance. getting those two caught was probably seen as a public service. However if they are annoying on a daily basis, then the other neighbors will hate them no matter what heroics they do.

All this talk of pot on this thread makes me remember my college days when I could smell it regularly. Since coming to jpn I have not smelled it at all, would not mind a whiff wafting by...

0 ( +1 / -1 )


-1 ( +1 / -2 )

With Japan's laws the way they are, and the population's penchant for foillowing the rules, this is just sheer stupidity. There are plenty of people who smoke dope in Japan that are just.....a little smarter about it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Any body who call's police on a neighbor for non-violent crime is no hero in my book. What if there was a medical condition? You dont know. People should mind their own affair's. Live and let Live! Real Public service would be to take over some nutrients and fertlizer and make friends. What God has created do not call unclean... war, war, war, everybody like's war, The people I know who made a personal choice or indeed have a medical condition are the MOST giving people I have ever met. It's the Alchoholic's that are always fighting, crashing their cars, domestic quarrels, Are they considered hero's? This snitch is no hero, and the couple should of weighed the cost's for open growing. They knew this might happen. But woe by who it came by......a nosy neighbor

3 ( +4 / -1 )

and it's T-Mack,.......... FRIEND...............Just my opinion......peace out@Lowly

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where did they get the seeds in the first place if it's so illegal here? You can legally import seeds! Strangely enough being in possession of seeds is NOT illegal - I should know I was found with them hidden in my bag at Nagoya airport and after a thorough (terrifying) search was asked if I wanted my seeds back - I said no!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Lowly, The electric companies find their victim's by the 12 hour's of dark and 12 hour's of light and darkness patern it takes to flower marijuana, with the new "smart meter" it can easily detect the timer and current draw on electricity. They know what it take's to flower marijuana. So then they "Rat Fink" to local DEA, and send another "Hero" to jail... @mike46,Seed's ( are easily bought over the Internet and shipped in cd case's. pen box's, bottom of wine bottle's etc...

1 ( +1 / -0 )


you'll get no fight from me. i was just saying that's how it is here among a lot of ppl. social harmony, respect for authority and rules. neighbors bothering you about and snitching on things like garbage-day infractions will also be annoying to ave japanese, but to be expected.


yes, they are seen as ingredients for food, which they are.

there is also licensed legal growing of hemp here, which those new to jpn may not know. it is hemp, not the happy stuff, tho, and only for those licensed to grow it for imperial purposes. (as with the rest of the world, hemp was an important source of cloth rope etc here in jpn. certain religious and imperial ceremonies require that specific material, and so they have a couple of growers keeping a supply ready).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the neighbors might have taken a whiff of them smoking it which tipped them off that something illegal might be growing on the roof. Anyway, unless they were smoking for medical purposes, they should not be growing that darn crap. It can be a dangerous drug, makes people do stupid things and feel impervious to reality.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )


No smart meters in my area yet. Knock on wood.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My personal conclusion is in Japan it is just not worth it, unless like you have a family member with cancer and you really really want to help them even if it means getting in trouble.

Lowly, totally agree with you. It's just not worth the risk of ruining your life in this country. My best friend took the risks, got caught and got deported and now I can never seen him again unless I visit him in the Middle East. In fact, he was deporte back to his country at the start of the Arab Spring and he messed up his career and studies in Japan, all because he got busted.

Am I against weed? Certainly not. Less harmful than tobacco and alcohol in my opinion (not necessarily physically but mentally). But as long as we live in Japan, the reality is we have to deal with a strict and to my mind very unfair and not-with-the-21st-century law. But that is still the law.

Go overseas for your holidays and smoke without having to worry about these draconian and backward laws. That's what I do. A word to the wise.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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