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Cannabis sales on the internet ‘hard to track’

Date Posted: 2009-07-23

Violations of cannabis laws and regulations are increasing in Okinawa Prefecture, and government officials say shops selling cannabis seeds on the internet are the culprits.

Police operating under direction of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s drug regulation section have raided one Okinawa shop, searching both the store and then arresting the owner and searching his house. The search came up short, though, because government officials discovered after a more thorough search of the laws that there are no regulations prohibiting sale of cannabis seeds.

People buying the seeds say they’re using them for ornamental plants, and contend it is not illegal to plant cannabis. Okinawa Prefecture Police say, though, that the quantities being sold are rising rapidly because of internet sales, making regulation difficult. A police spokesman says internet purchases are easy and hard to track, making “it more difficult to have regulation of cannabis.”

Police say it is illegal to plant cannabis, and say they’re stepping up investigations and making more arrests, sending more cases to trial. In one case now before the court, a couple arrested and charged with violating cannabis laws said “we wanted to enjoy the hemp like a cigarette.” They told the court they didn’t feel shy about using the cannabis.

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