Marijuana Plantation Discovered in Fukuoka

From the Daily Mainichi News
From the Mainichi Daily News

Seems like lately, when Fukuoka is in the news, it involves drugs.  Barely a month has passed since the arrest of Fukuoka celebrity Noriko Sakai,  on allegations of drug use, when news of the discovery of a marijuana plantation in Koga, hits the news.  Koga City is part of Fukuoka Prefecture and less than a half hour train ride from Hakata Station.  The Mainichi Daily News reporsts that 31 marijuana plants were found in the forest in Mushirouchi in Koga and another 21 were found in the home of one of the accused.  Brothers Yoshihiro and Mitoshi Nakamura, and Yasuhiko Nakamachi  have been arrested in relation to the plantation believed to have been worth 180 Million yen ($2 Million).  Their defense was that they were growing them for personal use.  The police however believe they are growing it for commercial purposes.  I personally think that no one invests $2 million for anything that is for personal consumption.

I am not familiar with the penal code of Japan, but I infer from the report that growing marijuana for personal purposes is allowed. (Anyone care to enlighten me on this one?).  This new caught me by surprise because just earlier today I was talking to a friend about Japan’s low tolerance on drugs.  The next thing I know is that there is a marijuana plantation barely 1 hour from Kyushu’s most populous city.  This kind of news is common almost everywhere else in the world (I read about drug related news almost everyday where I am from) but Japan was probably the last country I’d suspect to have a drug plantation.

Does Japan have a growing drug problem?  The Guardian, a UK broadsheet tackled the issue of increasing drug use in Japan and noted that in 2007 there had been an increase of 50% in Cannabis cultivation in Japan and a 12% increase in drug related arrests.  In 2005 the Japan Time Online published an informal survey on people’s perception on Japan’s drug problems.  Almost all of them said there was no drug problem in Japan.  Now, 4 years later, would they have answered the same? What do you guys think?

5 Comments on “Marijuana Plantation Discovered in Fukuoka

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  2. Thank you for visiting Jamaipanese. The Guardian article also noted that Japan is lagging behind the progressing European countries in terms of categorizing marijuana. I think it will take a long time before they have the same viewpoint.

  3. Cultivation of cannabis without a license is illegal in Japan.

    Possession and use of cannabis and by-products is illegal.

    Cultivation and possession for sale, vs. personal use, will typically be given harsher punishment in almost every country of the world, including Japan.

    Ironically, possession of cannabis seeds is not illegal.

    Japan has had a methamphetamine problem since the end of WWII, the media has usually ignored it, except for the occasional celebrity/tarento.

    Japan also has a long history with cannabis (specifically hemp) but the pro-American governments since the end of the war have aligned with U.S. drug policy. The government prefers Japanese get addicted to drugs that are taxed like nicotine and alcohol!

  4. I live in Japan too, and I'm fairly certain that growing marijiuana plants is illegal. I would also say the Japanese are HIGHLY unlikely to legalise the possesion of even small amounts anytime soon, regardless of what the rest of the developed world does. There is still little knowledge and understanding of drugs and their effects amongst most Japanese, and weed is considered as harmful as hard drugs by the uneducated majority. Things may change if they had access to a plentiful and cheap supply, but as an island nation this is unlikely unless a lot of people start growing it.

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