Japan sees record cannabis offenders above 5,000 in 2020

Japan Times -- Apr 08
A record 5,034 people were involved in cannabis-related crimes in Japan in 2020, with teens and those in their 20s accounting for the majority of the offenders, police data showed Thursday.

The figure rose by 713 from the previous year, marking the seventh consecutive yearly increase and exceeding 5,000 for the first time. The total hit a record high for the fourth consecutive year.

The National Police Agency vowed to boost cyber-patrols and crack down on drug deals using social media. The agency is also planning to strengthen its messaging on marijuana.

Japan maintains strict laws on marijuana even as a number of countries have legalized its recreational use in recent years. The law subjects owners and growers of the plant to up to five and seven years of imprisonment, respectively, and the government has warned citizens about using pot in countries where it has been legalized.

“Please do not get your hands on marijuana even if you are in a country or region that legalizes it,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement last week.

Of the 5,034 people, 887 were between 14 and 19 years old, up 278 from the previous year, and 2,540 were in their 20s, up 590.

The number of those age 14 to 19 involved in cannabis cases probed by the police jumped over fourfold to 12.9 per 100,000 people in that age group from 2016, while the figure for those in their 20s grew 2.5 times to 20.1, according to the NPA data.

Overall, five individuals per 100,000 were involved in cannabis offenses last year, doubling from 2016.

The number of university students rose by 87 to 219 and that of high school students grew by 50 to 159, both hitting record highs. Eight junior high school students were among the offenders, with the youngest being a 14-year-old student. - Japan Times

全国で去年1年間に大麻事件で摘発された人数が5000人を超え、過去最多となりました。特に若者の摘発が急増しています。  警察庁によりますと、去年、全国の大麻に関する事件で摘発された人は過去最多だった前の年を700人以上、上回る5034人でした。  そのうち中学生が8人、高校生が159人、大学生が219人で、高校生と大学生はこれまでで最も多い人数となりました。  一方、暴力団の構成員らの数は減少傾向にあり、摘発者は10年前と比べてほぼ半分の1万3189人でした。  来日外国人で摘発されたのは多い順にベトナム人、次いで中国人でした。 - ANNnewsCH