Record number of people apprehended, in Japan, over cannabis violations in 2008 – The Mainichi Daily News

A bag that was used to smuggle drugs, top right, is pictured at Narita Airport next to parcels of cannabis resin that it contained. (Mainichi)The number of people apprehended on suspicion of violating the Cannabis Control Law in Japan last year hit 2,778, the highest figure on record, a National Police Agency (NPA) report has shown.

The number of people apprehended was 507 higher than the previous year and the highest figure on record since police started collecting statistics in 1956. Last year was marked by a spate of arrests of sumo wrestlers and actors accused of violating the law, and police said the number of cases increased over all age groups, suggesting that use is rampant.

People aged in their teens and 20s accounted for 62.5 percent of the people who were apprehended, the lowest ratio in five years. By age group 220 were aged under 20 (41 more people than during the previous year) and 1,516 were in their 20s (125 more). Those in their 30s numbered 682 (230 more), and 224 were in their 40s (45 more). Another 136 people, or 66 more than the previous year, were aged 50 or older. There were 89 university students among those apprehended, three fewer than last year, but the number of apprehended high school students increased by 21 to 49.

There was also a major increase in the number of people taken into custody for growing cannabis, with the figure rising by 83 to 210. There were reportedly many cases in which people learned to grow cannabis through publications or over the Internet, collected seeds from cannabis growing in the wild, or purchased seeds over the Internet.

“The weakening of a sense of guilt and ease in obtaining the drugs are causes of the increase,” an NPA representative said.

In cases linked to stimulants, the number of people apprehended decreased by 968 to reach 11,041, but the overall amount of stimulants seized increased by 60.6 kilograms to a total of 399.9 kilograms.

via Record number of people apprehended over cannabis violations in 2008 – The Mainichi Daily News.

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