crime

Police crack down on loophole drugs after spate of traffic accidents

20 Comments

The Tokyo metropolitan police department has launched a task force to deal with the growing problem of hallucinogenic herbs following a spate of traffic accidents caused by drivers who inhaled the so-called “dappo haabu” or loophole drugs.

According to the National Police Agency, since June 24, there have been nine traffic accidents attributed to drivers inhaling the herbs in Tokyo, Yamanashi, Hyogo, Aichi and Miyagi prefectures, resulting in two deaths and 10 injuries.

In one case, a Chinese woman was killed and seven other pedestrians injured after a 37-year-old man drove his car onto the sidewalk and plowed into them outside JR Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo on June 24. The man admitted to having inhaled an herb shortly before the accident.

Naoyoshi Takatsuna, superintendent-general of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, said the task force's objectives are to block supplies of the drugs, which currently are not illegal, and reduce demand for them before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, TBS reported Friday.

On Thursday, police in Tokyo and health ministry inspectors raided 44 shops and ordered them to stop selling the herbs. A police spokesman was quoted as saying there are at least 70 stores in Tokyo selling herbs which are not regulated by law, TBS reported. He said the police plan to visit all the stores they know about and also regulate online sales of such substances.

Health ministry officials say the inhaling of many loophole drugs can cause serious health problems, and even death, while the law has been struggling to catch up.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
Login to comment

task force’s objectives are to block supplies of the drugs, which currently are not illegal

If they are not illegal, why would they try to do anything? First change the law! The role of the police is to make sure the law is obeyed, not to make new laws.

Next they will come after me because I am taking a walk in a place they don't want me to?

7 ( +12 / -5 )

how can you order a shop to stop selling legal items? it's absurd. why not do something novel like, say, criminalize psychotropic herbs? isn't that what we are paying politicians for?

and why the heck are these idiots inhaling drugs and then driving? use the freakin trains for joe's sakes!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Also, what is with announcing these raids?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm glad the cops are on it. Yes, I was stupid enough to try it and I was very ill for days. However, instead of making it illegal, they should have the same disclosure as food. List of ingredients, etc. What I took was terrible. Yes, I was stupid for taking something that I didn't know. But something should be done to protect people.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Torontoman, any drug that can cause harm to others and has proven to should be made illegal.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

So the police are going to go around ordering businesses to stop selling items that are perfectly legal to sell?

It seems to me that the danger of these drugs lies with trying to operate an automobile while under their influence. This is the same as alcohol, so draw up laws making it illegal to drive while using them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

ZybsterJul. 11, 2014 - 03:48PM JST If they are not illegal, why would they try to do anything? First change the law! The role of the police is to make sure the law is obeyed, not to make new laws.

Exactly. The role of the police is law ENFORCEMENT, not law MAKING.

Ironically the police are now acting illegally but harassing shop owners, who have done nothing wrong.

There are sufficient laws in place to deal with this problem, namely the laws about driving while "impaired". The approach the police are taking also interferes with the rights of perfectly responsible people who are using these substances in the privacy of their home for ... umm... incense and as airfresheners...

... okay, who are we kidding here, they're getting high on bath salts, but as long as they're doing it in private and not taking their problems on the roads I don't care. What I do care about are the poor business owners being harassed and forced illegally to ditch tens of thousands of yen of product.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These loopholes need to be closed as as quickly as possible and people should be educated on how soul destroyingly awful and dangerous bath salts are. Even the "spice" legal canniboids are dangerous nasty things.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Boo! Hoo hoo! So we are supposed to feel SORRY for the idiot loop hole drug shop owners but JUST FORGET about all of the vicitms of these SELFISH idiots who have taken so many innocent lives, like that of the poor Chinese young lady just barely coming out of Ikebukuro station?? Some people must have bath salts for brains and can not understand how dangerous idiots on these drugs can be in cars, etc..oh but just TAKE TRAINS and everything will be just fine?? Hell no! Most likely these same idiots on drugs will end up falling or pushing others on to the train tracks.

1 ( +8 / -8 )

If we look at how many people are killed by alcohol, and these types of drugs, I daresay it would be significantly less. Prohibition taught us that making something illegal, makes it more dangerous. I don't know the solution, but i do have lots of questions.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good comment David. I agree

2 ( +5 / -3 )

'Illegal' drugs are often more safer and pure these days. Know your stuff, research and stay healthy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I agree with proud Japanese, we should be thanking the JAPANESE POLICE for taking action against the lazy fools who are happy making MONEY and not caring what happens to the consumer of these loophole DRUGS and to the innocent victims!!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So we are supposed to feel SORRY for the idiot loop hole drug shop owners but JUST FORGET about all of the vicitms of these SELFISH idiots who have taken so many innocent lives

if we replace the words "loop hole drug shop" with the word "bar" would you feel the same way? just asking, since alcohol contributes to 300+ drunk driving deaths in japan every year and virtually none of it gets news coverage.

Prohibition taught us that making something illegal, makes it more dangerous.

yep... the legal status of cannabis has forced the creation of these synthetic cannabinoids. take it one step further, and the banning of the earlier versions of synthetic cannabinoids (which didn't make you pass out and were generally well tolerated by the body) only resulted in the need for newer synthetic cannabinoids to be created that come with far worse side effects.

along with the fact that by having these substances exist in the legal gray area of "not being sold for human consumption", manufacturers/chemists/dealers don't have to go through any of the regulatory procedures of other food substances. the end result being there is no information on what is contained in them and no way for consumers to mitigate the dangers.

lawmakers are far too naive to realize that when there is a demand for getting messed up, people will find ways to do so, regardless of the law. therefore, the best way to reduce harm is through education, regulation and transparency, not by condemnation and criminalizing.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Police crack down on loophole drugs after spate of traffic accidents

Cracking down on loopholes will only open more. Go after the source and the rest will come down.

Education and wealth is the key. Give the growers another outlet and the suppliers will have nothing to sell.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Complete BS from the police, while I understand what they are trying to do, raiding shops selling something that is perfectly legal is not cool. Do it in the correct order, make the drug illegal FIRST!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Kaal Singh Torontoman, any drug that can cause harm to others and has proven to should be made illegal.

So, you mean alcohol and cigarettes should be illegal too, right? What about pills?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm curious how are they going to crack down on drugs that are in a loophole? They cannot arrest because they're in a loophole...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whether you're against drugs, or advocate, like I do, for legalizing marijuana, you should have enough brains to know that you DO NOT DRIVE when using any drugs or alcohol. I think if you drive while under the influence of any drugs, you deserve the harshest penalty available. I don't care if the 'loophole' drugs are technically legal. If they make you high, if you hallucinate, you don't get behind the wheel. Period.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

David Quintero NavarroJul. 11, 2014 - 07:02PM JST Boo! Hoo hoo! So we are supposed to feel SORRY for the idiot loop hole drug shop owners but JUST FORGET about all of the vicitms of these SELFISH idiots who have taken so many innocent lives, like that of the poor Chinese young lady just barely coming out of Ikebukuro station?? Some people must have bath salts for brains and can not understand how dangerous idiots on these drugs can be in cars, etc..oh but just TAKE TRAINS and everything will be just fine?? Hell no! Most likely these same idiots on drugs will end up falling or pushing others on to the train tracks.

On the surface your comment looks vaguely reasonable, but if you just pause to think for half a second you'll realise that "drugs" can be made out of a literally hundreds of household chemicals. This means that your definition of "loop hole drug show owners" actually extends to virtually every single shop owner in Japan, from the local flower shop to the supermarket owner. They're selling the stuff in good faith, and for a legal purpose. Blaming them for what their customers do with it is like blaming bottle store owners for selling someone a bottle of booze. If the person then goes outside the shop and downs it in one go it isn't the bottle store owner's fault.

Both these "drug shop" owners and bottle store owners, 100 yen store owners, supermarket owners, etc. cannot be held even vaguely responsible for what their customers do with legal substances.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites