Noted author gets suspended term for pot possession

Kyodo

Prizewinning writer Ramo Nakajima was given a suspended sentence Monday for possession of marijuana. The Osaka District Court found Nakajima, 51, whose real first name is Yushi, guilty of possessing 6.5 grams of marijuana at his home in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, on Feb. 4.

His 10-month prison sentence was suspended for three years.

“Although the impact of his deeds on his readers cannot be dismissed, he has promised to win back their confidence with his work,” Judge Masaki Nishida said. “You should not forget that you have your own readers.” Nakajima responded, “I see.”

Nakajima won the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers with his novel “Konya Subete no Bar de” (“Tonight, in Every Bar”) and has written a number of novels, essays and plays. He has written frequently about his experiences as an alcoholic and about drugs.

Since before his arrest, Nakajima has called for legalizing marijuana. In the first session of his trial in April, he denounced the marijuana control law as “nonsense.”