22 Members of "Cannabis Community" in Nagano Arrested (News)


Tokyo, Nov. 25 (Jiji Press)—A total of 22 people who live or lived in rural areas in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, have been arrested on charges of possessing cannabis, it was learned Friday.

The Health Ministry's regional narcotics control office and prefectural police suspect that Yutaka Arata, 48, his wife, Hisako, 36, and 20 other arrested men and women have formed a "community" to grow and use cannabis while organizing musical events.

The authorities seized about 8 kilograms of dried cannabis and seven hemp plants, chiefly at the suspects' homes in sparsely inhabited areas in the town of Ikeda and the city of Omachi.

According to investigative sources, 16 of the 22 suspects, aged from 27 to 64, have largely admitted cannabis control law violations.

All suspects came from other places in and outside the prefecture. Two of them moved to Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, before the authorities' raid.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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