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marijuana in japan 2008/1/4 13:05
before ask my question, i want to make it clear that i am not looking for advice on how to cheat the system. i personally dont use marijuana or any kind of drug, even alcohol or nicotine.

recently my fiance revealed to me that he smokes pot. weve been dating for about a year now and he only told me this last week. i honestly had NO idea or even suspected that he did, so it was a surprise that he told me. since im the first gf that he has ever told this secret to. i realize that it took a lot of courage for him to tell me, though now im caught in a legal bind.

my attitude toward pot use prior to coming to japan was that of indifference.i grew up in a neghborhood of drug dealers and knew plenty of people in college who smoked weed. i knew that they were good people, but never involved myself with smoking with them or let myself be around them when they are smoking.

but now i am living and working in japan with many opportunities and i wonder how having a fiance who smokes pot affects my chances of being jailed/deported if he is ever caught by police.

can i be arrested/deported for knowing a drug user and failing to report that activity to the police? what will happen when were married and he gets caught?

whats the best thing to do in my situation??? im terribly nervous now- especially since were supposed to get married this year!
by cici  

... 2008/1/4 16:10
I assume the two of you are living in Japan. What he is doing is illegal in Japan. Give him help to stop it, that's the best thing you can do for both of you.

I believe (though I am no lawyer) you do not get arrested simply for not reporting. But really, help him quit it.
by ... rate this post as useful

from what I know 2008/1/4 18:38
Cici, I think your bf told you about his habit mainly because he thought you won't have biased views. By biased views I mean, seeing marijuana users as evil people, or not knowing the difference between hard drugs and soft drugs, or not knowing how addictive or not additctive marijuana is. Most Japanese people have these things all mixed up, but you probably don't, which makes his long story real short.

In other words, I think he will listen to you if you tell him he should stop. If someone more ignorant tells him to stop, he would just think "You don't understand." but this doesn't apply for you.

About the law, you can make an anonimous call to the police from a phone booth and they will answer all your questions. However, as far as I know, you won't get arrested just for failing to report that a friend is carrying marijuana.

That said, if you two live together and if the police finds marijuana in his drawer, that would mean they found it in "your house". If he is arrested for carrying marijuana in Japan, that means he will practically be banned from the society, loosing his job and all, which eventually will affect your household income and reputation. If he gets a criminal record, he can be restricted from traveling abroad in the future, which means he can't be with you for any of your home-comings. A student can get arrested for marijuana and not only his school but the name of his club activity will appear on the papers (and I'm not talking about the recent news. I've seen articles like that so many times). You never know how your name can end up next to his.

Some people in Japan do get away with marijuana. But it's extremely important to know the risks of yours and those who may get involved. He should have patience. A pot-free law or a pot-free place of residence comes first.
by Uco rate this post as useful

addict 2008/1/4 18:56
He is addicted to it and I don't think it is easy for anyone to make him stop using it without a help of a specialist. I don't know where he is from but if he is non-Japanese, then he should go back to his country as soon as possible and see to any drug specialist or medical center who can professionally help him get out of the terrible addiction. It is certainly a criminal offence in Japan to use that kind of drug and he can be caught anytime. After using the drug for a certain period, he will lose himself completely, damaging his whole life. You are to send him to a specialist before he use more of it. He must stop using it. and I hope he will not make you or any other friends use the drug.
by mamiko rate this post as useful

Drugs 2008/1/4 20:32
calm down! I am not a marijuana user and don't advocate its use. I DON'T EVEN SMOKE TOBACCO and had a beer 5 year ago.. However I work in the health care field and can tell you for a fact that doctors, lawyers, teachers, policemen, judges etc. smoke pot,grass (some of the names for marijuana) without it affecting their professional lives at all. Heroin, Cocaine and even the legal alcoholic drinks one can get in any bar in Japan are far far more destructive. Again I don't advocate the use of any drug, especially if it is illegal but hysterical claims like yours will not make a user stop.
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

thanks for the info 2008/1/4 21:14
thank you all for your responses, and Uco for your detailed information.

i will talk to him again seriously since we havent talked about it since he mentioned it. i still have many questions though.

what about women married to men with criminal offenses? im not japanese so would that make a difference? as i mentioned were planning to marry this year- if he gets a criminal record, would we still be able to marry in japan? Uco mentioned that he cant travel abroad if he got a criminal record so im pretty sure with a criminal record that means he definitely cant get any kind of visa to my home country (u.s.).

i have my own job/income and currently support myself (were not living together yet) but wonder if being associated with a criminal can make me lose my job/residence status in japan.

i want to call immigration for these specific questions but i have no idea if my inquiry would lead into an investigation since they would then have reason to.

in the meantime i want to help him quit in anyway i can.
by cici rate this post as useful

... 2008/1/4 21:15
See what I mean?
by Uco rate this post as useful

reply 2008/1/4 22:40
"what about women married to men with criminal offenses? im not japanese so would that make a difference?"

I'm not sure what you mean. Can you be a bit more specific?

"as i mentioned were planning to marry this year- if he gets a criminal record, would we still be able to marry in japan?"

Criminals can be lawfully wedded, if that is your question.

"wonder if being associated with a criminal can make me lose my job/residence status in japan."

I think it depends on how understanding your work place, your industry and your buyers are. But just by viewing this very thread, you can see that a lot of people do not understand marijuana, so if someone finds out that you're associated with a user, moreover a criminal, your reputation tends to fall.

"i want to call immigration for these specific questions but i have no idea if my inquiry would lead into an investigation since they would then have reason to."

Like I said, if you use a pay phone, I don't think they'll bother to go and find which phone you used. But also, a lot of City Halls (shiyakusho) can lead you to free consulting in foreign languages, and these consultants usually have the duty to keep your secrets.
by Uco rate this post as useful

... 2008/1/4 23:55
I didn't post in details about your concern regarding residence status and things of that nature earlier because I was not sure of your (you and your boyfriend's) nationalities, but may I assume that you are non-Japanese and your boyfriend Japanese?

- If you remain unmarried, not living in the same house, (and I assume you are on your own working visa of some kind) it will be OK, I believe (when I say OK, I mean, practically and legally speaking). Still of course I encourage you to talk to him straight about quitting.

- If you get married, now there will be no excuse for you to say oh you didn't know about his habit, as Uco-san said earlier, if the stuff is found, it is found in "your house."

- If he gets charged with criminal offense "before" you get married, then the possible practical consequence I could envisage happening is that if you try to apply for a spouse visa (with him acting as the guarantor), then the guarantor might not have sufficient credibility, so that you might end up being denied the visa (not quite likely though), or with a shorter validity for your spouse visa to stay in Japan.
by ... rate this post as useful

thanks 2008/1/5 21:12
thanks once more for all the legal help, thats what i was looking for more than anything.
by cici rate this post as useful

Not So bad 2008/1/6 06:43
Weed isn't so bad, not as bad as they make it out to be. If you try weed, your not going to jump into a car and drive it into a building and start killing people, for a lot of people its just a way to relieve your stress, get rid of a head ache, or just relax. I do realize some people use it for the wrong reasons but its not a harsh drug that will destroy your life.

Sorry I went off the topic, but I hate it when people like Mamiko go and say weed will destroy your life.
by Aaron rate this post as useful

Mint 2008/1/6 13:06
I don't think "the person who started this topic" intended to talk about the affects of marijuana in terms of health. And it's perfectly normal and also expected for a girl to be concerned about what she will be facing with her future partner. Even if marijuana is no big deal, marriage is.

I agree that some of the posters are overreacting about addiction (which is a very normal reaction among the locals), and indeed a lot of people do smoke marijuana while being in Japan and face no problems.

But having your husband's pot FOUND in Japan and having your husband's pot found in some of the other countries are a TOTALLY different story. And those who don't think it's a big deal don't know it.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Uco is right 2008/1/6 13:35
The following shows a Japanese law against users of illegal drugs including marijuana (if found).

According to the Japanese law ;
[People go to jail for possessing less than one gram of hemp and they face many social penalties too (loss of job, expulsion from schools, etc.). Theoretically you can go to prison for five years for a single joint. Larger quantities, cultivation or smuggling will lead to prison sentences of up to seven years. Smugglers caught with a few hundred grams to a few kg of cannabis are routinely sent to prison for 3-4 years. Discipline in Japanese prisons is extremely strict and conditions are harsh.

All foreigners caught with marijuana will be deported after having served their sentence, with a life-time ban on returning into the country (even someone as famous as Paul McCartney wasn't re-admitted until 11 years later). Japan has a general policy of refusing entry to all foreigners with a criminal record on controlled substance violations.
by reality rate this post as useful

. 2008/1/6 14:27
It would be a good idea to post a link to where you found your reference to the Japanese Law. Otherwise, people will think you copied and pasted someone's opinion from another forum or blog, which is what it looks like you did.
by Jon rate this post as useful

^_^ 2008/1/6 18:54
lol that sounds way over the top imo, but who am i to say?

At Uco i wasnt refering to the original poster to returning to the reply by the person who clearly has no experience what so ever in the subject in hand and is mearly throwing usless information in amounst it.

Now the reason for things as such to get such a bad rep is because people dont understand, people presume the worst and this isnt always the case.

For example in School i was told "Cannabis" was a bad bad thing, You would die if you take it, its highly addictive and it till ruin your life. Now non of this was true however people are being told this information all the time which i feel.. is kind of a shame.

Each to their own at the end of the day tho, I choose not to do it not because im scared but because i dont want to.
by murraymint rate this post as useful

.... 2008/4/5 14:17
I'm no expert on drugs, or the laws of Japan, but I do know mirijuana is one of the safest drugs out there when it comes to health related issues, it doesnt cause any of the illnesses many legal things such as ciggarettes, alcohol, etc does. As far as telling him to quit goes... I dont think its a good idea to tell him straight out to quit. He trusted you enough to tell you something that if it gets out can cause him to go to jail if he gets caught with any on him. If you wish he would quit ask him if he ever considered quitting, and see how he responds to it. Dont make him feel pressure to quit because that can only make it worse especially if it is an addiction. I know this because I have known quite a few people who used many types of drugs, and only seen them get offended, and upset, and really just not care, or listen when you tell them its best they quit. Supporting him, and being there for him when he is ready to quit if he wishes to without you making him feel like he should he will appreciate because you werent one of the people judging him, and making him feel like a junky for his choice like so many others probably would. I think if he doesn't do it on a daily basis, and can agree not to keep it in the house once you are married then it isnt really a problem as long as your comfortable with it. Its just my opinion, through what I have witnessed when it comes to this specific drug. But really my advice is to ask him if he ever considered quitting, and if he seems genuinely interested in quitting great, but if not dont pressure him about it because he isnt going to appreciate that, just be sure he can agree to keep it out of the house when you do move in with him if he refuses to quit. I hope everything works out the way you hope it will :)
by T rate this post as useful

Where? 2008/4/7 17:19
I would be concerned about how he is getting the weed? It seems illegal drugs are controlled by the yakuza. They may be his source and if so, I would question how safe if is for (him and you) to continue this habit.
by Mea rate this post as useful

caught in japan 2008/5/20 15:21
I imported 8.741g. of hash I seved 2 1/2 months before my trail date and then was given a 1 year 6 months sentence that was suspended for 4 years I am north american and my wife is japanese i can nolonger go to Japan Life time ban????
Pot in japan is no joke tell him to stop now or move to a different country
by caught in japan rate this post as useful

Japan and Cannibus 2008/10/15 05:46
Marijuana was as Japanese as rice up until WWII

I can give no help with the legal questions, but I think everyone who posted here should give this webpage a look http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/101.html
by Joe Anybody rate this post as useful

ATTN Mamiko 2008/10/15 06:07
After re-reading the webpage I posted a link to, I got a good laugh that someone named Mamiko (which means Hemp flower) is so against Cannibus!

Here's the quote (from http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/101.html )
The connection to your name and Hemp is at the end of this Quote

Cannabis in the Japanese Language

In Japan's beautiful and bewildering language, cannabis is expressed by an ideogram character, adapted from Chinese, and pronounced "asa". This character is read "ma" in Chinese and represents two plants hanging upside down from the rafters of a drying shed. Note that only marijuana plants would be hung to dry in thus fashion, as cannabis grown for fibre is field-retted after harvest.

Since the decline of cannabis cultivation, "asa" has become a sort-of catch-all term for replacement crops such as jute, sisal, flax linen, as well as cannabis, making it a bit confusing. However in any dictionary or other languge resource, it is unmistakable that the asa character means cannabis.

A character which refers to cannabis more specifically is "taima". "Tai" (or "Dai") means "tall" or "big", while "ma" is the original Chinese reading of the "asa" character. This is the "official" word for the plant used in the law that prohibits its cultivation.

There is an amazing piece of linguistic proof that the ancient japanese were very aware of cannabis' enlightening uses. The japanese character for "to rub" consists of "cannabis" and "hand". Of course, you rub cannabis only to get hashish.

Cannabis culture also lives on through family names such as Asada or Asahara (hemp field) and given names like Asako (little hemp child) or Mamiko (hemp flower).
by Joe Anybody rate this post as useful

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