Japan sees more teens using Marijuana in 2017 than in 2013

Japanese Police cracked down on 3,008 people in cases involving marijuana in 2017, up 472 from the previous year.


The National Police Agency data showed on Thursday that more people, particularly teens, are using marijuana amid toughened measures on restrictions on kiken (dangerous) drugs.


The number of individuals that came to police attention per 100,000 doubled to 3.0 in 2017. In 2013 the number of those aged between 14 and 19 increased five times from 0.8 to 4.1. The number of people in their 20s increased from 4.8 to 9.4.


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The figure for people in their 40s and 50s came in at well below the overall rate of 3.0, standing at 1.8 and 0.3, respectively.


In another survey conducted last year, which covered some 500 people, were investigated for involvement in marijuana related-cases and around 30% of respondents said they thought marijuana use was dangerous while 70% agreed for stimulant drugs.


While 42.9% of respondents in their 40s said they started using marijuana out of sheer curiosity, a larger 66.3% of those aged below 20 cited the same motivation.


The government defines dangerous drugs as those containing chemical agents that can cause hallucinations or have an effect similar to stimulants.


Across all combined age groups, 63.7% said they began using marijuana after being influenced by their peers while 22.6% decided to try it independently of others and see what happens next.


More than 80% of respondents aged below 20 said they were offered the drug, compared with around 70% of people in their 20s and about 50% of them in their 30s.


Police cracked down on the 13,542 people in drug-related cases in 2017. The number investigated for stimulant drug cases fell slightly from the previous year to only 10,113.


Reference: Japan sees record number of marijuana cases in 2017 as youth involvement rises


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