Tokyo, Nov. 24 (Jiji Press)–A record 4,570 people were arrested in cannabis cases in Japan in 2019, according to a white paper released by the Justice Ministry on Tuesday.
The number of people arrested for violating the cannabis control law rose 21.5 pct from the previous year, up for the sixth successive year.
Among the arrested, the number of those in their 20s jumped 28.2 pct to 1,950, and that of those under 20 surged 42 pct to 609.
In the White Paper on Crime 2020, the ministry said that, as wrong information on health effects from cannabis is spreading on the internet, it is possible that young people start to use the drug while misunderstanding its harm.
Cannabis is regarded as a “gateway” drug as its users are likely to try other drugs including stimulants. The white paper cited a special survey revealing that, of 699 people who have used stimulants, 351 had experience with cannabis.
Meanwhile, the number of people arrested for violating the stimulants control law came to 8,730, falling below 10,000 for the first time in 44 years.
The total number of criminal cases stood at 748,559 in 2019, down 8.4 pct, renewing its post-World War II low for the fifth straight year.
The ministry also released a white paper on the promotion of recidivism prevention measures, which showed that the proportion of former inmates who were imprisoned within two years after being freed came to 16.1 pct in 2018, down for the fourth consecutive year.