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Record 5,400 cannabis offenders in 2021, police report

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A record 5,482 people were involved in cannabis cases in Japan last year, up 448 from the previous year and rising for the eighth consecutive year, with abuse of the drug seen mostly among young people, police said Thursday.

The crime is the public's tax money and resources being used towards the enforcement measures.

17 ( +37 / -20 )

With all the stress these kids have these days with demeaning school tests, horrible pay, and retirement looking like something impossible, why not let them have some relaxation time? At least they aren't smoking cigarettes.

13 ( +33 / -20 )

I really wish legalization was being discussed in Japan. Punishing young people, in some cases with a criminal record, for victimless crimes seems pointless and inhumane. Afaik there have been no negative consequences of legalization in other countries. But it'd be naive to think J lawmakers would look at anything presently happening outside its borders for inspiration.

14 ( +31 / -17 )

The volume of confiscated stimulants was 688.8 kilograms, while 329.7 kg of marijuana was seized.

I'd be far more worried about the meth situation than wacky weed. Chalk and cheese.

18 ( +35 / -17 )

Japan needs to legalise cannabis…

12 ( +35 / -23 )

Agree with all the above.

And if there ever was an uptight populace that needed cannabis recreation its the Japanese. People here are too wound up.

11 ( +32 / -21 )

Bong! (so to speak)- @AlyRuston 8:14am. Your comment has a resonant sound but will fall on old, deaf ears. To @Newgirl’s point: it’s easier to control the population with the regulations & taxation already in place on alcohol & tobacco. Cannabis is a weed they feel the can’t control (or profit from,… yet.)

@AlyRustom 8:14am: Agree with all the above. [@kurisupisu 7:53am: Japan needs to legalise cannabis…]

-“And if there ever was an uptight populace that needed cannabis recreation its the Japanese. People here are too wound up.” -

14 ( +21 / -7 )

ummmm

with abuse of the drug 

"abuse"? Drug abuse? What are you talking about? These arent herion addicts or crackheads robbing people in the street,these are kids mucking around. Nice hyperbole japantoday

sigh

11 ( +24 / -13 )

The fact that some commenters believe there is nothing wrong with using weeds as a means to distress tells you just how mess up the world is. One should never resort to substances as a way to escape reality and use it to feel better. That is never the solution. Why can't people just their live like a normal person without having to resort to weeds?

The human race has lived for thousand of years without having to resort to using these things. Why people believe weed is now the answer for people problem is just stupid. If you have stress, go out and enjoy yourself. Talk with some friends or meet new people. Watch some film, get a hobby or play games with friends or family.

Is nuts that people believe that just because alcohol and sigarettes is just as bad, that weed should be allow too. How about not trying all of these things and instead try to live a more healthy lifestyle? Stop trying to normalize drugs as if this is suppose to be normal. It ain't. Why in heaven sake would anyone want weeds to be legal? Because it's fun and people think this allow them to escape reality?

Let's be honest If you have kids, would you be happy to see your daughter or son take weeds everyday? Downvote all you want, but how about be a little more responsible and take life seriously. One does not need this to enjoy what life has to offer you.

-27 ( +13 / -40 )

um

with abuse of the drug 

"Abuse" what are you talking about?

These arent herion addicts or crackheads robbing conbinis for a fix

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Your comment has a resonant sound but will fall on old, deaf ears.

wouldn't be the first nor the last time.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

See the argument of reffer madness is still being used, in 2022? It’s been used since man walked upright. It’s not new. Just comparatively recently banned, for no good reason.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

The human race has lived for thousand of years without having to resort to using these things. Why people believe weed is now the answer for people problem is just stupid. If you have stress, go out and enjoy yourself. Talk with some friends or meet new people. Watch some film, get a hobby or play games with friends or family.

The human race has used these drugs for almost as long as they have lived. Alcohol is something most human civilizations came to independently about as soon as they figured out what effects eating old fruit had. People have been consuming and smoking a wide variety of plants for just about as long, and yes that includes plants like marijuana.

An appeal to history seems like a really weird tact to use here.

19 ( +28 / -9 )

I feel sorry for those caught. They will be handcuffed to a hard metal chair for 10 hours a day, with no food, water or toilet breaks, forced to watch videos crackheads, heroin overdoses, meth heads with no teeth. No videos of people sitting round a campfire, sipping on glasses of wine while one of the friends plays bob marley covers on a guitar.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

HiroToday  08:50 am JST

The human race has lived for thousand of years without having to resort to using these things.

Whatever gave you that idea?

Is nuts that people believe that just because alcohol and sigarettes is just as bad, that weed should be allow too. How about not trying all of these things and instead try to live a more healthy lifestyle?

I expect that you don't smoke or drink alcohol yourself, then.

Tokyo-mToday  08:52 am JST

It is a fact that regular cannabis use increases the risk of developing a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, and the amazing journalist Peter Hitchens does a great job...

Hrm. Really. Citing some medical experts or law enforcement agents might be a bit more persuasive.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

There's a very simple way to reduce the amount of these offenders by more than half.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Time to ReRe-Write the law(s).

Prior to WWII, Cannabis was legal in Japan.

One thing they had right.

Think of the Market.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

"No force on earth can stop an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

If only Nihon could learn from all of the horrific damage blind interdiction has caused to the lives of people in the U.S. and elsewhere, much worse and more widespread than ANY damage caused by the substances themselves. And, if graphic proof is needed, consider Mexico...

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Let's be honest If you have kids, would you be happy to see your daughter or son take weeds everyday?

Not if they're underage. Same goes for alcohol and cigarettes. And if it's "every day", there might be cause for concern for adults with any of these substances as well.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Can't we just all get a bong!?

S

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Of all of the most pointless ways to waste police resources... SMH.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

The fact that some commenters believe there is nothing wrong with using weeds as a means to distress tells you just how mess up the world is. One should never resort to substances as a way to escape reality and use it to feel better. That is never the solution. Why can't people just their live like a normal person without having to resort to weeds?

Do you drink Hiro? If so, what's the difference? Weed as an intoxicant is way less harmful than alcohol, a drug that makes people violent. Weed does not make people violent.

The human race has lived for thousand of years without having to resort to using these things. Why people believe weed is now the answer for people problem is just stupid. If you have stress, go out and enjoy yourself. Talk with some friends or meet new people. Watch some film, get a hobby or play games with friends or family.

What utter twaddle. The human race has used mood altering agents for millennia ye dafty. Almost every single culture that has ever been on this planet has consumed chemicals to alter peoples mood and perception. Often times as part of a ritual or psuedo religious ceremony. Even Japan!! Hemp usage was widespread in Japan leading up to WW2, granted as a textile. Then the US occupation criminalised the plant, even for non smoking purposes. No one thinks "it's the answer", only closed minded people think that it's "the problem".

Is nuts that people believe that just because alcohol and sigarettes is just as bad, that weed should be allow too. How about not trying all of these things and instead try to live a more healthy lifestyle? Stop trying to normalize drugs as if this is suppose to be normal. It ain't. Why in heaven sake would anyone want weeds to be legal? Because it's fun and people think this allow them to escape reality?

Yes, exactly. Relaxing the mind is perfectly healthy....which is why we enjoy a beer or 25 after a hard days work. EVERYTHING is a drug of some sort, if your definition is a consumable that has an effect on your nervous system......food is a then a drug. You have been brainwashed by the "JUST SAY NO!", "DRUGS= BAD".

Let's be honest If you have kids, would you be happy to see your daughter or son take weeds everyday? Downvote all you want, but how about be a little more responsible and take life seriously. One does not need this to enjoy what life has to offer you.

Let's be honest, I wouldn't want to see my kids smoking cigarettes, but they can legally....so why not weed? Done so in an appropriate manner, in an appropriate setting it is nowhere near as dangerous as the legal intoxicants we imbibe. Why don't you loosen up and take life less seriously? Life is meant to be fun. Life is meant for living. Explore, have experiences and enjoy yourself.

If you don't want to smoke weed, that's fine. But what's it to you if others do? And I'm not even talking about myself.....I wouldn't take weed even if it was legal because I hate smoking. But I don't care if others do. This is a socially harmless product. Live and let live

11 ( +16 / -5 )

looking forward to more nippon weed users who will eventually create improved strains, kinda like how they did with 'perfect' watermelons and strawberries, same quality of workmanship but for a higher purpose

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Hey Hiro,

Did you know the human body has canabinoid receptors? Parts of our brains match with parts of these plants.

Being judgemental and fearful isnt a "healthy" way to live as you suggest

8 ( +13 / -5 )

RodneyToday  09:24 am JST

I feel sorry for those caught. They will be handcuffed to a hard metal chair for 10 hours a day, with no food, water or toilet breaks, forced to watch videos crackheads, heroin overdoses, meth heads with no teeth.

I am not saying that such countries don't exist, but that is not the case in Japan. First and second time offenders of possesion (consumption is not illegal under Japanese law) are regularly handed monetary fines in the range of 6-15万円. I can not think of many cases where repeat offenders were given a suspended sentence of a few months.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hi to Hiro above.

1/ Doctors routinely give drugs to people for reasons associated with stress and mental illness.

2/Human history is full of populations using drugs for pleasure, medicine or work {Opium, marijuana, coca leaf }

Hiro reminds me of the comment often levelled at hard line conservatives....

Their greatest fear is that "someone somewhere may not be working as hard as they should "

Mate ,all over the world the mood is toward legalisation of cannabis...the sky hasnt fallen...YET !!! {cue dramatic music }

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Are the cops getting smarter? Or, are the pot heads getting dumber?

Pot is in Japan and is there to stay. Japan needs to take a more proactive response to pot rather than a reactive one. Set a limit for personal use and test drivers for driving under the influence. Their zero tolerance policy is obviously not working. It’s not the 1950’s anymore.

I don’t support the use of any social drugs but it’s a losing battle. Too many young ones are involved in it. Japan needs to evolve and make it difficult for the users. Zero tolerance is an urban myth.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

@Hiro

I personally do not use substances or anything to keep my stress levels low. I too try other methods which don't work sometimes but I keep on trying. That doesn't mean I should force others to believe something as stupid as saying "don't smoke weed, it's bad for you" because I understand that cannabis has its benefits. It is also something that I know won't cause addiction unlike cigarettes that has nicotine. It is ridiculous to call this a crime anymore. Drugs that cause humans to act out of control causing harm to others? Sure, this should be banned. An herb that makes you mellow? No.

And humanity has been using drugs for centuries now so I don't know what you are arguing about?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

consumption is not illegal under Japanese law

If consumption isn't illegal already, they are trying to make it illegal in the new laws. Once again, J lawmakers go in the opposite direction of the world. The new law will mean that someone who smokes marijuana where it is legal and then returns to Japan can be arrested.

I don't like marijuana, and don't think it's a healthy thing to consume. But if we criminalize everything that is bad for us, we'll have to start arresting people for eating too much ice cream or oily fried foods. The law is a complete waste of government and court resources, and inflicts harm on society by destroying the lives and livelihoods of people who haven't harmed anyone.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

First time I went to the clinic in japan for a cold, I came out with one big plastic bag of medicine. From tablets, to mixtures to cream. I was flabbergasted (like that word) never went back. Maybe the police should focus on clinics and their link to pharmaceutical companies

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I went to the doctor here because I had insomnia.

He gave me a prescription for rohypnol.

Priorities here are really very odd.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

@William Bjornson

The US has a huge crisis because of opioids pushed by pharmaceutical companies. Many western countries are plagued by methamphetamine, which isn't legal in any of them. Mexico's problems come from demand mainly for cocaine, again illegal.

None of these are connected with the legalisation or decriminalisation of cannabis. If anything, medical cannabis could help alleviate the opiod crisis (but don't quote me on that as I'm no expert).

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Never share a joint with a Japanese is just a commonsense "safety first" policy: their repressive laws and mind-boggling naivety are too much of a risk factor. With the passage of time Japanese will discover other ways to chill besides guzzling alcohol and the government will eventually have to accept the reality of a nation that has learned to turn on and live free from authoritarian control. The West has been showing the way since the 60s, but the Japanese ruling class are stubbornly still acting like the monkeys of Nikko.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

u_s__reamerToday  12:03 pm JST

The West has been showing the way since the 60s, but the Japanese ruling class are stubbornly still acting like the monkeys of Nikko.

But of course. The politicians and the police will just stick to the "drugs bad!" status quo because that's what they've always done and what their predecessors always did, right or wrong, because it's far too much hassle and hard work to try to improve the way things are done here and they'd much rather just coast along drawing big salaries and bonuses until retirement or whatever lucrative amakudari gigs they've got lined up.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The stupidity of these laws far out way the negative, yes daily use not the best, but if you can not talk about for fear of arrest. What do you do? And if you use recreational suddenly your a social outcast that gets jail time! Come on. As for this schizophrenic thing, they are going that way regardless. It’s therapeutic value is well established, it’s not a violence enabler. But you might want extra snacks. It’s crazy to ban a weed. Maybe not! Wrap everyone in cotton and follow the path to happiness with the view the old men in charge tell you. Relax it’s seriously not the end of the world.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Mexico's problems come from demand mainly for cocaine, again illegal.

Mexico's problems are largely a result of treating drugs in the US and elsewhere as a criminal issue rather than a health issue, the same boon for organised crime that they got from Prohibition a century ago.

Proper management by health systems (admittedly as a developing nation in this regard, the US is a weak link) deglamourises drugs, exposing the worst ones as the sad, life-destroying substances they are.

Criminalising them makes them cool, edgy, rebellious. Demand causes neighbourhood and cross-border turf wars, and finances evil like the Taliban and people trafficking.

Not great optics, but it feathers a lot of intelligence and security industry nests.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It is a fact that regular cannabis use increases the risk of developing a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, and the amazing journalist Peter Hitchens does a great job...

Hrm. Really. Citing some medical experts or law enforcement agents might be a bit more persuasive.

Pretty much. Too much of this going on regarding matters best dealt with by professionals. Some can’t just past the politics.

Of all of the most pointless ways to waste police resources... SMH.

Yep.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

There would be far fewer problems associated with alcohol and organisee crime if it were just leagalised. Most US States, all of Canada any many EU member states have legalised or decriminalised amounts for personal use. Japan likes to side with these nations as they look down their noses at the rest of Asia, so why not follow suit on this one?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Long time ago, weed was legal in Japan

Then white men came...

They said "this is not good for you"

They banned it

Then suddenly in white men home, weed became good...

After that, white men kept coming to Japan

Always asking about "why ban?"

Now white men want Japan to change again

They want Japan to unban it

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

If they just legalized it, there wouldn't be that much of an issue. Lord knows, if there's a country that could really benefit from recreational smoking of weed, it's Japan. Might actually get their shoulders to shimmy down from their ears.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

The agency believes the rise in offenders is due to an increase in drug deals for profit and the number of users.

Whoa, incredible insight! How did they ever figure that out?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Tokyo-mToday  08:52 am JST

It is a fact that regular cannabis use increases the risk of developing a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, and the amazing journalist Peter Hitchens does a great job in his weekly column of digging into cannabis use by criminals, terrorists, and mass shooters, a factor mostly ignored by the rest of the press.

His conclusion: "Despite the grim tally of its users who have gone violently mad among us, and the many more who have just lost their minds, marijuana is still crazily viewed as a ‘soft’ drug".

No way should it be legalised.

Care to present some actual data/facts rather than anecdotal notes. What research study? How many subjects/sample size? How old were the subjects? Was the study replicated? Based on the numbers of users around the world, we should see a significantly higher incidence of psychotic illnesses among users. Yet we don't. Why? Because while it may be the case for a few susceptible individuals, the vast majority don't exhibit psychotic illnesses from smoking marijuana.

Criminals, terrorists, and mass shooters??? Really? Terrorists? LOL! I think there's more chance that they imbibe mass quantities of alcohol. But it's still okay for it to be legal.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I was "involved with cannabis" about two hours ago, then again I don't live in Japan.

When I did live in Japan, 2003-2007, I smoked a fair amount of weed there.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Matthew HopkinsToday  02:36 pm JST

Miles - Because of the general weekness of the stuff in Japan there has been a tendency to mix it with PCP. Not a very good thing to do especially if the person taking it does not know.

As for organized crime and terrorism. Anything they can do that makes money they will. At the moment gangs are trafficking people from Germany, through France to unsafe boats crossing the channel at between 3 to 10 grand each person. They are getting very rich from it. Japan has very strict rules regarding drugs and therefore the profit margin to risk is exactly the kind of thing orgarnized criminals like.

PCP? Not very popular nowadays and replaced by Ketamine. Never heard of mixing it with either substance in Japan.

The post I replied to was referring to marijuana use not trafficking among criminals, terrorists, and mass shooters. But the war on drugs (dealers, suppliers, growers) doesn't work. You have to successfully address the user-side at the same time. The US has been trying for years and it hasn't made a dent. And has the recent opioid crisis has shown, the dealers are now pharmaceutical companies.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I use weed to relieve me from my extreme arthritis pain, I refuse to to take prescribed pain killers because they are soooo addictive. I am 22 and i got this disease when i was 13, there is no cure. I also have Epilepsy for which I must take medication. These antiquated Drug laws have been passed by old men who think they have some magical insight into our modern world of stress and think they know all the answers. Listen up old men, you are the cause of all the stress young people go through, daily....the end.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

In how many states is marijuana legal? Maybe when it's legal throughout the US Japan will start to think to consider assessing the benefit / risk of legalizing

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It was Nancy Reagan and the war on drugs that made cannabis illeagal .

Ridiculous !

Before that Japan had been using cannabis for thousands of years.

No its not harmful or physically addictive.

As you can see its widely available in the USA and Canada and generates alot of revenue and taxes.

Japan's cannabis laws are ridiculous.

Its so illeagal here in Japan i can't imagine anyone could enjoying the effects anyway.

Time for Japan to follow what the USA is doing and decriminalize and legalize cannabis.

Atleast CBD is widely available here.

I don't use any cannabis or CBD products .

Hops are related you know.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@ Mathew Hopkins

iam sorry but the ingredients used to make meth aren't readily available in Japan as ephedrine containing medicines are banned.

During the pandemic Japanese couldn't get ephedrine for covid symptoms such as bronchodilator or for bronchitis as it is used for in many other countries.

Meth is the worst of all drugs

It ruins lives , family's and whole communities.

It's pure evil !

0 ( +4 / -4 )

As you can see its widely available in the USA and Canada and generates alot of revenue and taxes.

Japan's cannabis laws are ridiculous.

How are they different from laws in the US? Just curious

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The agency believes the rise in offenders is due to an increase in drug deals for profit and the number of users.

What a bunch of Sherlocks! The reefer madness here never ends!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I don’t smoke any myself, never did, and don’t care to do so.    But I have done well investing in pot stocks (Tilray, Aurora Cannabis, Green Thumb Industries etc.).   In fact, these last two days cannabis stocks went up well over 15 % in value.  So, to all you people that think it is not a bad idea to smoke it, then keep going at it.  Every puff you take adds money to my portfolio.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I've been in Canada for the past month, and the weed-addicted people smoking legal weed walking the streets are like zombies...

Oh wait, no they're not. This is a highly functioning country. And there are cannabis stores everywhere. Sometimes you smell it on the streets. That's about it.

Anyone who still thinks there is a problem with marijuana in this day and age is simply showing themselves to be too low-intelligence to be able to adapt with to new information.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Cannabis stimulates the cannabinoid receptors in the human body and so does Katsuobushi and soy sauce and chocolate and matcha

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Please study the stress environment.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Recreational cannabis has been legal here in Oregon for six years (longer for medical use). Not only have there been no increases in various societal problems once attributed to "the devil's lettuce," but the thriving legal cannabis industry has contributed millions to state tax coffers. Japan's attitude towards weed is stuck in the 1950's

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

5,482 people just want to feel happy, but get arrested instead!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Asians say no this.

No thanks, colonizers".

The first weed I toked back in 1972 was "Thai Stick".

Grown in Thailand, Asia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In Canada it's an economic booster. If used responsibly (same as alcohol) it's no problem at all. You can make good quality paper, rope and other items in far less time than say, trees.

Native/First Nations farmers in Canada are making a bonanza from it. And it's become legal in several US states too. In NY State, Iroquois farmers are finally getting a big break.

Mary Jane is not physically addicting or destructive like alcohol can be. The other (illegal) drugs are dangerous and bad news. Marijuana is none of those.

LEGALIZE IT.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Young people?! Smoking weed?!?! Oh good heavens! Next thing you know, they’ll be listening to jazz music and showing off their ankles!!!

BRB, I need to go get the good petals to clutch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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