Tokyo, June 28 (Jiji Press)–Japanese police arrested or took other actions against a record 5,783 people in cannabis cases in 2021, health ministry data showed Tuesday.
Of the total, 68 pct were those in their 20s or younger.
“Cannabis abuse is noticeable mainly among young generations,” health minister Shigeyuki Goto told a news conference, showing eagerness to strengthen a crackdown and promote awareness programs to prevent the use of illegal drugs.
The number of people handled by police for cannabis possession or other related allegations increased by 523 from the previous year, up for the eighth consecutive year.
Of the total, those aged between 10-19 numbered 1,000, reaching the level for the first time on record, and those in their 20s came to 2,934.
The offenders aged 10-19 included eight junior high school students and 189 high school students.
“The number of transactions through social media is growing, creating an environment that gives young people easy access to cannabis,” a ministry official said.
The total number of people police arrested or took other action against for allegations related to illegal drugs fell by 159 to 14,408.
The number of people dealt with in stimulants cases dropped by 684 to 7,970. The number stood at 639 in narcotics and psychotropic drug cases and 16 in opium cases, both up by one.