Many young people have been found involved in cannabis offenses recently, apparently because the illegal substance is priced lower than stimulants and the number of countries that have legalized it has increased, police officials and experts say.

Last year, Japanese police arrested or took other actions against 5,342 people for alleged cannabis possession or other related acts. About 70% of them were aged between 10 and 29.

According to the National Police Agency, the number of such people has been on the rise since 2014. In 2021, the annual number hit a record high of 5,482.