Last year, the Japanese government said it would begin considering allowing the use of pharmaceuticals containing cannabis. That doesn’t mean that the country’s penal code is in any way getting laxer on recreational marijuana use, and the latest example comes with the arrest of a popular YouTuber.
On March 18, 21-year-old Yudai Nishikawa, who posts videos of himself playing video games under the name Neko-kun, was arrested for possession of 0.5 grams of dried cannabis, which police officers found on his person while inside a police station in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward. Nishikawa admitted that the cannabis was his. “Two and a half years ago, I bought it from a black person in Kabukicho [one of Tokyo’s bar districts],” Nishikawa said, placing the time of the transaction as not long after he moved to Tokyo. “I smoked marijuana to act cool. But smoking it makes you zone out and you can’t play video games well, so I made a point not to smoke while I was playing.”
The assertion by Nishikawa (whose channel had amassed a subscriber base of roughly 900,000) that he wasn’t under the influence while on camera may have been an attempt to indirectly plead for leniency, but he was still placed under arrest for violation of the Cannabis Control Law by possession.
As to why Nishikawa was in the police station in the first place, on the night of March 11 police officers had taken an intoxicated man into custody. When they searched the bag he was carrying they found 1.2 grams of cocaine. However, the man said that the bag, and its contents, were actually the property of his friend, who just so happens to be Nishikawa. Nishikawa was then called to the station for questioning, during which time he admitted that the bag and drugs were his and was placed under arrest. While at the station, a search of his person found the cannabis, leading to his second arrest and the additional charges he now faces.
Sources: Asahi Shimbun via Livedoor News via Otakomu, FNN Prime Online, YouTube/ FNNプライムオンライン
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