crime

Police bust Vietnamese cannabis operation in Gunma

61 Comments

Police in Saitama and Gunma have cooperated to break up a cannabis cultivation operation discovered in Gunma Prefecture.

According to police, 214 plants were seized at an establishment rented by two Vietnamese men in Midori. The men, both aged 23, were arrested for violation of cannabis control laws, Fuji TV reported.

The men have also been charged over the possession of 5.5 kg of marijuana that was found in their car, police were quoted as saying.

Investigators say that three other cannabis cultivation facilities have been discovered in Saitama and Gunma since 2011. Police believe they were part of a Vietnamese drug smuggling operation and are investigating the possibility that this latest operation was also connected to the crime ring.

© Japan Today

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61 Comments
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Wow! 5.5 kg of hydro bud has a wholesale value of what?? Couple of hundred thousand (US$). Talk about a good day gone horribly wrong for those two budmeisters.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Legalise it and let everyone grow their own instead of funding the underworld.

22 ( +27 / -6 )

That sucks!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And it had to be in "Midori" haha

23 ( +26 / -3 )

"Police believe they were part of a Vietnamese drug smuggling operation..."

Smuggling? Does cannabis grow naturally in Japan? If so, did they smuggle in a higher potency plant?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And it had to be in "Midori" haha

My god. The stunning simplicity yet genius of that observation. A cannabis plant is green, and "midori" means "green"! Pure comedy gold!

Pizzatime, don't waste your days keeping up with current events and such. Your powerful Seinfeldian sense of observational humour and social commentary must be shared with the world!

-30 ( +3 / -34 )

Amazing how dopers are everywhere! And they think they are so cool!! As long as someone will subsidize their life they have it all!

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Great job, J-cops!! More poison off the streets of Japan. Now the courts should dole out the ultimate punishment for those dealers in death.

RR

-24 ( +4 / -28 )

I bet they are trainees and it's their strategy to augment their meager income. Not that I condone them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Good, do not want my family or friends around that garbage or the people that use it.

-11 ( +4 / -16 )

@hoserfella, you do realize that "midori" is slang for weed in Japanese, don't you?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Several years ago, a former friend of mine from my college days was busted selling weed to kids at the HS where he was a JET ALT. He had about 3 kg in his car. I believe he got about 8 years in Fuchu. Not specifically related to this particular story, but I just thought that I would share. Yeah, he was an idiot.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Appears to a be a lot of stoners on here, judging from the relentless down voting of anyone applauding these arrests.. :P

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Several years ago, a former friend of mine from my college days was busted selling weed to kids at the HS where he was a JET ALT. He had about 3 kg in his car.

Wow. And I thought skipping the school entrance ceremony to go to a hanami party was really bad.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Death Penalty?? RR do you know nothing about Japan??

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Magnus, I think you are on to something about stoners here!! But don't worry, if they were real potheads they would not survive here on the J islands!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ Magnus Roe

Yeah probably so...... and a lot of us alcoholics who are wondering what the difference is?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

More "poison" off the streets? You do realize marijuana is not only less addicting than caffeine, it also has far fewer, if anynnegative effects when compared to alcohol, which doesn't stop the ridiculous amount of alcohol abuse in this country. Do some research: pot is largely illegal for political and racial reasons stemming from the early 20th century, as well as the Nixon administration's efforts when they began the war on drugs. As it stands, all the comments that see this as a victory come from people who must think "Reefer Madness" was a legitimate statement on effects of pot.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

I'll add that I'm largely speaking of legal policy in the US, and assuming that Japanese law took some hintsnfrom the US on how to handle drug policy. Even if that's not the case, at the very least drug policy in Japan is fueled by superstition aka ignorance.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Funny, but just before I logged in there was an ad on the right of this story, for a 'natural remedy' for stress and anxiety attacks .

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@hoserfella, you do realize that "midori" is slang for weed in Japanese, don't you?

yyj72 - I've heard a few, and despite what you heard from a friend of a guy who knew a dude who said "midori" is slang for weed - its not.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Legalise it and let everyone grow their own instead of funding the underworld.

Not gonna happen for that very reason. You get lawmakers fearing for their lives or with slimmer pockets.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They should be glad it was here in Japan that they got caught and not in their home country or other SE Asian countries for that matter.

Legalize it and regulate it. Japan would be out of debt in no time flat. Imagine the tourism.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People against drugs who have commented on this page so far- white, over 40, American, voted for Romney

People for drug legalization who have commented on this page so far- probably non-American, but between 16-40 if American, have found drug loopholes in Japan, have been/will go to a beach in Thailand to get drugged out with other white backpackers from Europe or Australia.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And just 15 days shy of 4/20!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People for drug legalization who have commented on this page so far- probably non-American, but between 16-40 if American, have found drug loopholes in Japan

Wrong. White, over 50, American, against most drugs, but don't look at MJ as being a drug, anymore than alcohol or tobacco and no found no loopholes in Japan because to do or have drugs here is plain idiocy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

yyj72:

" @hoserfella, you do realize that "midori" is slang for weed in Japanese, don't you? "

Somehow I suspect he did not...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

" People for drug legalization who have commented on this page so far-probably…" Wrong on all counts. Never touched the stuff, nor any other illicits, but firmly believe in individual rights free from Nanny State prohibitionism of any substances. The consequences are also fully the individual 's responsibility. Tu Ne Cede Malis.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

RomeoRii

" Great job, J-cops!! More poison off the streets of Japan. Now the courts should dole out the ultimate punishment for those dealers in death. "

I hope you are joking. Hashish is one of the softest drugs out there, much safer than a lot of the things that are legally available. How about reserving the old-testamentarial punishments for those crimes that really deserve it.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The Japanese will rent apartments to anyone nowadays?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

despite what you heard from a friend of a guy who knew a dude who said "midori" is slang for weed - its not.

Your must be taking about English, because if you took five seconds on google would have found midori as Japanese slang for weed. It is in the Japanese wikipedia (and other places of course).

No matter what one may think about the pot being harmful or not, would you really want to risk the penalties in Japan just for a buzz? I never did the stuff, but is it really so great that you would risk jail time, loss of your job and being deported (if a foreigner).

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Um, when I worked with the Japan National Police on an unrelated matter,I seem to recall a conversation (in fluent Nihongo) with a colleague who enlightened me as to the various slang terms for bud. KTHXBYE.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Um, when I worked with the Japan National Police on an unrelated matter,I seem to recall a conversation (in fluent Nihongo) with a colleague

I've come to the conclusion that people who say that they are fluent in Japanese tend not to be, otherwise what's the point in writing something like this? If you worked with the JNP do you assume that people are going to think or even car what the language used was? Slang or otherwise you want to brag

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WilliB,

Marijuana has been proven time and again as a gateway drug to harder stuff. It is indeed a poison that needs to be eradicated along with those who sell it and use it. Just a shame that Japan doesn't follow the lead of other Asian nations in that part of the world that uses forward thinking when dealing with drug dealers/dope fiends.

RR

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Japan is tough on pot... I spent 3 months half at Narita detention center and half at Chiba prison for about ¥50 worth. (fifty yen)...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@romeo. For many young Japanese, crystal meth is a gateway drug to Marijuana. There were no laws against marijuana in Japan until 1947 when the -Americans insisted on it. Now in America despite the all powerful DEA it is available from your doctor in 16 states and will soon be legalized for recreational use. It will happen here too when the world sees the sky does not fall in, death rates due to alcohol and tobacco fall and the only gateway drug legalized marijuana leads the vast majority of uses to is coffee.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I smoked my first pot while stationed at Yokota in 1967. It was Korean pot that was brought to the base by a fellow American U.S.A.F. personnel. He was able to smuggle it into Japan because American service personnel do not have to go through Japanese customs inspection. American military personnel go on TDY (Temporary Duty) throughout Asia from bases in Japan and bring back weed with them. It helped me quit drinking alcohol which I noticed the Japanese love to do. Go to Shinjuku on a Saturday night! Also it was really crazy but you could buy very powerful tranquilizing drugs over the counter. I think it was called "Deloran". 2 or 3 would knock you through a loop. Plus you could buy very powerful sleeping pills over the counter at the "American Drug Store" You could buy a 30 day supply of Seconal. I even bought the powerful drug Datura Stramonium at an herb shop near Ueno train station. It was too strong for me and I gave it away. You could buy a "sex drug" called "Plus Pin" for men or women though the ingredients in both were the same. Strychnine nitrate and Yohimbine, a stimulant and aphrodisiac. It was very easy to get high legally in Japan in 1967 and illegally through the military smugglers bringing in weed from S. E. Asia. Thank you Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@algo1510- it was easy to get legally high here until 2002 when they made mushrooms illegal because of the World Cup. Everything is still available here though. Just costs more than in most other countries which means there will always be a supply because of the huge mark up. It's unfortunate that it was Japan who exported meth to the rest of the world and its going to be along wait for the Japanese to legalize weed but it will happen eventually. 30 percent of Japanese shouldn't drink alcohol ( the red faced ones) because they lack the enzyme to break it down properly which leads to cancer. Sooner or later they will go back.to their roots and rediscover marijuana. The emporer stills wears ceremonial robes made from hemp! I hope these young Vietnamese guys get a light sentence. They were probably just working for somebody else on a low salary if any.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Vietnamese weed was sweet in the ol days...but not here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What were those cops thinking??

Oh man, man. Just give peace a chance man.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I wonder how many years they took thinking about it until they realized it wasn't a domestic group in charge?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Vietnamese Cheech and Chong? I wonder what they eat when the munchies hits - huge bowls of pho noodles? In seriousness, I suspect these two were not the top dogs in the enterprise. I guess going after the yaks is out of bounds in such situations. Anyway, the drug laws here - and most western nations - are illogical and counter-productive. State-owned tobacco and alcohol is pushed as acceptable - and destroys countless people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Come on guys, cannabis is not dope. This is nothing else than a social stimulant between beer and whisky, if - like those - consumed moderately.

I used to consume it during weekend with friends in my teens, but I have given up for decades because I much prefer a nice wine.

The ones who shout about marijuana have absolutely no clue what they are talking about!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

RomeoRII:

" Marijuana has been proven time and again as a gateway drug to harder stuff. "

Bah, humbug. In the same way, I could argue that tobacco is a gateway drug to marijuana (it was in my case). Fact is that marijuana is a soft drug, about in the same legue as coffee and beer.

I guarantee you that a lot more irresponsible behaviour is caused by alcohol. Not to mention these "bath salts" that have been in the news lately.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

I am glad to see that the police acted quickly to protect the snacks of Gunma! Now Japanese snacks are safe from raving hordes of stoners with serious cases of the munchies!!

As everyone knows, the Japanese are very protective of their snacks, and I'm happy that the national police force prioritises snack protection as a national issue.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Making drugs illegal drives up the price and makes it lucrative for bad guys to sell drugs. All terrorism and outlaw states, such as North Korea, derive from the sale of illegal drugs much income. The cost of drug enforcement is a drain on the coffers of gov'ts. For example, in the US, the cost for local, state, and federal gov'ts for drug enforcement (this includes incarceration, additional police with excessive pensions, etc.) is over $100 billion per year.

Legalize all drugs and let employers decide if they want to test employees for drug use, such testing to be unrestricted and can take place at any time, with or without cause to suspect drug use. Any employee fired for violating an employers drug policy wouldn't be eligible for unemployment benefits. Any person disabled due to drug use wouldn't be eligible for US Social Security Disability.

For the US, legalizing and taxing all drugs would result in an annual savings and additional tax revenues of over $125B for all levels of gov't. combined.

As for me, I'm not a user and don't smoke cigarettes, but I pay way too much in taxes for drug enforcement and a good chunk of my taxes pays for drug enforcement.

If one wants to kill one's self with drug use or otherwise turn into a loser due to drug use, then God's speed, because I'm not my brother's keeper and this includes not regulating what any fool wants to put into his/her body.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

WIth cannabis you should be juicing it for the full benefits --> smoking is really a waste. For people that do not believe in cannabis --> try hemp. The super-healthy juice wheatgrass and other greens, but you can get powder forms also. Wheatgrass/hemp are complete proteins, but some people discount this (low in lysine etc).

@romeo. For many young Japanese, crystal meth is a gateway drug to Marijuana.

Many students do try methamphetamine for the stimulant effects to study. But the real effects are toxic and tragic. You do not want to be using this stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iW_fsb3Dqw (sad effects of crystal meth)

If you eat fresh vegetables you will feel healthy and have plenty of energy. =No reason for drugs/alcohol. You need some fats also.

These cannabis growers pushed hydroponics and now aquaponics. -True rebels of food generation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@badsey3 yes meth is a nasty drug. My Japanese wife was a heavy meth/ cocaine addict for about 10 years. She started on meth at 17 years old. Took a long time and effort , many doctors, rehab and prescription medication to help her recover from amphetamine psychosis. Fine now though, as long as she takes her medication. Japanese need to be given an honest drug education about the dangers of drugs. Unfortunately that will not happen as many illegal drugs are safe to use unless you have an underlying medical problem. The government doesn' like to admit this and just lumps marijuana,DMT, etc in with drugs like meth and say they are all bad for you- even though people have been using some of them for thousands of years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Frankie Wilde Apr. 06, 2013 - 07:41AM JST Japanese need to be given an honest drug education about the dangers of drugs. Unfortunately that will not happen as many illegal drugs are safe to use unless you have an underlying medical problem.

Although drug problem is increasing in Japan, the excessive binge drinking is more of a common problem to their health than drugs. Japan needs more of alcohol eduction than drug education. Reality is there is no comparison of addiction and health/mental issue problem between marijuana vs meth. You know for your own experience that meth is a crap. Meth takes your entire life and if your addicted to it, it's very hard to hold onto any relationship or your job. I am not sure why goverment lumps marijuana with meth in same category. It's a two different animal. One is a house cat and other is a unpredictable pit bull.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My Japanese wife was a heavy meth/ cocaine addict for about 10 years. She started on meth at 17 years old.

For some reason(s) the methamphetamine use is common with Asians (West Coast USA) particularly at that age when they are studying extra hard. They think they can use it for 2-3 years (thru college) and it does help initially with energy to study -but the effects are absolutely toxic and it destroys the brain/body. There is absolutely little to no long-term value using this toxin.

If you eat well and eat lots of fresh veggies (organic with no pesticides) and specifically juice you will have more than enough energy for anything. Look into SuperFoods (hemp/wheatgrass/greens) --> these are incredible detoxifiers and many weightlifters are moving onto these foods for incredible energy and power. ==Many weightlifters are going vegetarian. Still need those fats and minerals from a good meat/bone soup etc.

The human body is incredible in its' ability to come back from any damage if the nutrition is there. Sadly many foods are nutritionally weak and many people do not eat fresh anymore +the pesticides +GMO issues. =People are unhealthy/unhappy and try drugs to make them feel better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sfjp330 yes alcohol is a much bigger health issue for Japanese. That's why marijuana should be a legal alternative. The danger of governments criminalizing relatively harmless drugs is that when young people see successful, healthy people in their old age, (especially musicians who have been using these drugs for most of their lives) is that young people will not believe anything that they are told about drugs-and some are dangerous. Meth best avoided, heroin, wait until you've past 70, cocaine- not really good for you, your friends or your wallet. Most other things, ok in moderation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Execute them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

" Marijuana has been proven time and again as a gateway drug to harder stuff."

RR, that's the HS mantra that the prohibitionists have foisted for decades and has been proven false time and time again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did this group really not have a yakuza connection, or sponsor, or more likely godfather? I doubt it but if I'm wrong then Japan is a lot more open to foreign competition than for which they are given credit . Well, Vietnam is a member of the TPP. See what happens just thinking about dropping agricultural barriers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Solution just make it legal for everyone to grow!!! and I'm sure 95% of japanese and conservatives gonna boo me down!! This is the problem with the conservatives and traditionalists enforcing ideas, laws, beliefs, or some status quo on to people which they don't want and that is hurting the people, it's time for a change!! There wouldn't be any crime ring affiliated to this and second of all I don't support criminal organization or criminal activity but however I support local individual cultivation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Surf O'Holic well said, however sadly many japanese people believe the "gateway theory" and when I say this to them, they think I'm a nutjob or selling them on the streets!!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sounds like a propaganda piece to me. The law enforcement agencies are probably watching this thread now to find out where they can bust some real users and steal their hard earned cash. I believe that this stuff has a higher price than gold.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Could someone tell me how many people smoke marijuana in Japan, not Foreigners, but Japanese?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You mean besides Noriko Sakai?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Marijuana has been proven time and again as a gateway drug to harder stuff. It is indeed a poison that needs to be eradicated along with those who sell it and use it

Rr,

Hate to break it to you, but the gateway drug is a worthless, tired argument that's been discredited long since. If you want to talk about gateway drugs though, why don't we talk about tobacco and alcohol, which have much more evidence to implicate them as gateway drugs. Though, if you can show me some credible sources for your absurd claims, I might listen for a second.

And to say marijuana smokers need to be eradicated? How progressive and tolerant!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I respect them, but my own personal opinion, based on experience, is that any "gain" achieved through drugs has much more value and longevity if achieved through a persons control of their own mind and body. I think teaching this principle to all young people would far outweigh the value of legal constraints.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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