Four young men run afoul of Cannabis Control Law

A 18-year-old correspondence student of a high school and a 18-year-old demolition worker were sent to a trial at Naha Family Court, while the Naha District Court sentenced a 24-year-old male office worker to a 6-month prison term, suspended for three years, for violating the Cannabis Control Law, on Wednesday.

One self-employed 24-year-old man is still in police custody pending the results of a police investigation connected to the same case. The man is denying the charge.

Naha Police, Okinawa Prefectural Police Organized Crime Control Division, Okinawa Prefectural Police Juvenile Division and Kyushu Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare Narcotics Control Department Okinawa Branch conducted a joint investigation into the case involving all four suspects.

According to investigators, the high school student sold dried cannabis on two occasions at a restaurant parking lot in Higashi, Okinawa City, in November and December, each time one gram for ¥8,000 . The self-employed 24-year-old who is still in the custody is suspected of selling one gram of cannabis for the same price in one occasion in February. He denies the charge. Both of them reportedly sold the cannabis to the demolition worker in Okinawa City.

The demolition worker and office worker were found to be in possession of cannabis that police discovered in their respective homes. All four are friends or acquaintances.

Naha Police are continuing the investigation to determine the route of the cannabis and possible involvement of gangsters.

175 persons were arrested for drug-related offences in Okinawa Prefecture in 2016 that is the most since 2004, and about half of those were suspected of violating the Cannabis Control Law.