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Seizures of liquid marijuana surging in Japan

Jan 19 (Japan Times) - The amount of liquid marijuana seized in Japan has been surging, putting police and customs authorities on high alert.

The estimated amount of marijuana in liquid form confiscated by Tokyo Customs in 2020 jumped nearly 70 times from the previous year’s level. A customs official described the situation as “an explosive increase.”

The liquid extracted from marijuana plants has a higher content of hallucinogenic tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, than dried cannabis and can be used in a similar way to electronic cigarettes.

“Many users are youngsters,” an official at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department said. “My impression is that it has been in wider use for the past 10 years or so.”

According to Tokyo Customs, the liquid marijuana seizure amount was roughly 400 grams for the whole of 2019, but it jumped to some 9 kilograms in the first half of 2020 and to 18 kilograms in the following five months through the end of November.

Meanwhile, the amount decreased substantially when it came to cannabis in general, due to fewer passenger and cargo flights amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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