Police Officer Winds Up in Cuffs after Cannabis Bust
A police officer in Japan found himself wearing a set of handcuffs last week after getting busted with cannabis. On Friday, Wataru Umekita, 23, of the Kyoto police was arrested after investigators found an undisclosed amount of dried cannabis and a pipe at his family’s home in Moriguchi — a small city on the outskirts of Osaka.
Investigators were searching the family home after it became connected with a theft that took place at the Kyoto police school.
Umekita has admitted that the cannabis was his, and that he was only using it personally instead of selling it illegally.
But that won’t save him from facing a serious sentence. Getting caught with cannabis can net you five years in jail and a fine in Japan, even if you get busted with as little as half a gram of cannabis. Umekita last made headlines in 2014, when he won World Junior Judo competition, but that claim to fame won’t spare him from facing intense social as well as potential incarceration. Even Paul McCartney wound up spending 9 days in jail in 1979, when Japan’s customs officials found cannabis in his luggage.
While Japan is on the cutting edge of technology, it continues to lag behind countries like Canada in terms of cannabis reform. The Japanese public is as harsh toward cannabis offenders as the police, and visitors who get caught with marijuana face deportation and a permanent ban from reentering the country (though McCartney eventually returned to the country in 2015).
For more on Japan’s cannabis laws, check out this article from Elite Daily.