Cannabis busts soaring, police say

Kyodo News

The number of people against whom the police took action over the possession and sale of cannabis increased at a record-breaking pace during the first half of the year, the National Police Agency said in a report released Thursday.

The number of people either questioned, arrested or whose case was turned over to prosecutors came to 1,202 during the January-June period, up 12.3 percent from a year earlier, a pace that is likely to eclipse the all-time yearly high of 2,288 set in 2006, the NPA said.

The number of people against whom police have taken action over cultivation of cannabis stood at 73 in the first half, up 46 percent from a year earlier.

In many cases, the plants were grown on balconies or inside closets. The NPA attributes the surge to easier access to knowhow and the plant’s seeds via the Internet.

The NPA said police seized 8.8 kg of cannabis resin during the January-June first half, down about 20 percent from a year earlier. But the amount of dried cannabis seized during the same period grew 2.5-fold to 94.7 kg, it said.