• Kyodo


A former actress who ran unsuccessfully in the July Upper House election on a platform to legalize medical marijuana was arrested Tuesday at her home in Okinawa Prefecture for alleged possession of pot, the health ministry said.

Saya Takagi, 53, whose real name is Ikue Masudo, denied possession of the drug, which is banned in Japan, saying the confiscated substance found “was not hers.”

Earlier in the day, narcotics officers from the ministry’s Kanto-Koshinetsu health bureau searched her home, car and the inn she operates on Ishigaki Island.

Officers allegedly seized several grams of dried marijuana leaves as well as pipes and rolling papers.

Two men living with Takagi were also arrested. According to the narcotics officers, the seized pipes had been used.

Takagi, originally from Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, debuted as an actress in 1982. She has been active as an environmentalist in recent years.

In July’s election, she ran for a seat representing Tokyo as a candidate for Shinto Kaikaku (New Renaissance Party), pledging to work on legalizing use of marijuana for medical purposes if elected.

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