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Cannabis use increasing among young people

15 Comments

“Cannabis fever” rages, declares Spa! (June 5). Arrest figures confirm it: 3008 in 2017, the most ever. Young people are especially susceptible. In 2017, police statistics show, 9.4 arrests per 100,000 of population in the 20-29 cohort represent a near doubling since 2014’s 5 per 100,000. Among youngsters 20 and under, there were 4.1 arrests per 100,000 of population in 2017, up from 1.1 in 2014.

What accounts for this? Economics, for one thing: the price is falling. The going price per gram is said to be in the range of 6,000-10,000 yen. Still, it adds up – to 500,000 yen a year for one user Spa! speaks to, a 25-year-old PR professional. “I used to go in for harder drugs,” he says, “but lately, those either don’t work or else they kill you. With marijuana, you needn’t worry.”

Lawmakers and police disagree, of course, and legalization, in effect, in progress or under discussion in many developed countries, is nowhere on Japan’s legislative agenda and little, it would seem, on the public’s mind. Rather than campaign for liberalization, users prefer to trust their own smarts to keep the police away. “I never keep it, I smoke it as soon as I get it,” says a 24-year-old man. “I’ve never been arrested. When I want a smoke, I call a friend and have him bring over just as much as I need. And on the off-chance I do get raided, there’s nothing in the house, no smoking paraphernalia or anything. I smoke through holes in a beat-up drink can.”

Another user has a different solution: vaping. He smokes out of what looks like – in fact is – an e-cigarette, which conventionally delivers vaporized tobacco but can handle vaporized marijuana just as well. So inconspicuous is it – and so odorless, he says – that he can smoke while drinking with friends at izakaya pubs – or, for that matter, in his office’s smoking area. Nobody notices a thing.

The PR professional mentioned above is not alone in his progression from hard drugs to soft. It’s quite common, says a pusher the magazine speaks to. This is interesting. Marijuana used to be considered a “gateway drug.” Even if not dangerous in itself – there were some opponents to legalization who conceded that point – it led users on, they feared, to substances like cocaine and heroin that really were addictive and really did destroy health and sanity. The gateway seems to have shifted, opening on another road.

The pusher – Spa! calls him “Mr B” – speaks of a police crackdown four years ago centered in Hyogo Prefecture, which sent Kansai pushers streaming into Tokyo, causing a drop in local prices and a 10-fold rise in demand. A pusher, Mr B says, can “smell” a prospective client walking by on the street. The whispered come-on is likely to be sexual rather than drug-related, but the message gets across. Like-minded people understand one another, and generally move on to complete the transaction in “a game-center toilet” or some such venue, where a security camera is less to be feared and the pusher would be unable to grab the money and bolt, just in case he or she is so minded.

 “He or she” is appropriate. “The image you tend to have of a pusher is of a hard-boiled sinister-looking male,” Spa! hears from a 25-year-old regular smoker. “But the person you deal with might easily be a cabaret hostess, or a guy in his 20s or 30s who could pass for an ordinary company employee.”

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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If it was legalised here (and I won't hold my breath waiting for it to happen), Keystones would have to focus on stopping more school kids on bikes for no reason.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And if they get caught, they'll just say they just wanted to act like foreigners.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Being stoned at work would be horrible. Time goes too slow, plus what a waste of getting high.

My advice is to not touch the stuff anywhere in Asia.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The going price per gram is said to be in the range of 6,000-10,000 yen.  Rip off.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Being stoned at work would be horrible. Time goes too slow, plus what a waste of getting high.

Back when I was a fledgling programmer, and not yet living in Japan, I used to smoke while working. It was great. Rather than time going too slow, I'd lose all sense of time, and get deep, deep into what I was building.

I miss those days.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Unfortunately it will never ever get legalized here. And it makes me sad because they should AT LEAST consider legalizing medical usage of cannabis. It has such a bad image here.

ALso if Japan would legalize it, the use and incidents with kikendoragu would go down rapidly.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Get over it, already! The only people squawking about cannabis are alcohol drinkers.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Back when I was a fledgling programmer, and not yet living in Japan, I used to smoke while working. It was great.

But the people that had to fix your code had to get stoned to understand what you had written. (I speak from experience of one kind or another.)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Pushers." What a stupid term.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Pushers." What a stupid term.

Why?

The Pusher 1968. Steppenwolf.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rpoEmlxUPeQ

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Legalize weed for recreational use then I assume the following would happen. Alcohol sales would decrease because people will realize that they can save their livers and still have a fun night on the town. Tobacco sales would decrease because screw smoking cigarettes it's just cancer for you and unhealthy, weed is the better alternative. Weed can treat depression which would lead to less suicided and "train delays". People will be less stressed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Because they are providers, not pushers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is an open door to hard addiction between 12 and 15 years old. We know opiace medecine is an open door to mental illness.

It is just a easy money business. We already have the studies, so it cost less to research, and durying the controls you a bigger number and a longer historic.

But, we all know this is a real drug. This is no soft or easy. We are discovering other biological aspect in the brain. So we know the "yes" on recreational use from some minor studies are not good anymore.

We suspect mental long term effect. On biological, we know there is slower brain process.

NCM

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

I live in a State which has legalized recreational cannabis. The sky hasn't fallen. Sales of liquor and cheap beer are down, as they are in other States which have done this. Opiate deaths have dropped, and tax revenues have risen.

But 6000-10000 yen per gram?!?! You can find decent strains for a tenth of that in the local dispensaries.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In 2017, police statistics show, 9.4 arrests per 100,000 of population in the 20-29 cohort represent a near doubling since 2014’s 5 per 100,000.

9.4 arrests per 100,000??? Oh my gawd!! call the swat teams!!!!

And where the hell did the .4 come from anyway?? How did they calculate that??

And if they get caught, they'll just say they just wanted to act like foreigners.

exactly!

Get over it, already! The only people squawking about cannabis are alcohol drinkers.

Oi! I resent that! I'm a HEAVY drinker and I support cannabis legalization. (smile)

Being stoned at work would be horrible. Time goes too slow, plus what a waste of getting high.

Haruka, I can't comment one way or another as I have never been high at work, BUT I can tell you from personal experience that being hungover at work really is horrible. Time goes too slow and you are constantly sleepy. The nice thing about cannabis is regardless of how much you smoke the night before, you never wake up with a hangover. Think of all the efficiency saved if they legalized it. Not to mention the lack of "floor pizza" by some who can't hold their liquor.

I live in a State which has legalized recreational cannabis. The sky hasn't fallen. Sales of liquor and cheap beer are down, as they are in other States which have done this.

I'm guessing that's why they don't want to legalize it. Alcohol in japan like tobacco has its own special interest groups.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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