NAGANO (TR) – A narcotics control division of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has arrested 22 persons in small towns in Nagano Prefecture for the possession of marijuana, reports NHK (Nov. 25).
On November 23, a simultaneous raid by multiple law enforcement divisions resulted in the confiscation of seven marijuana plants and eight kilograms of dried cannabis from residences in Omachi City and the town of Ikeda.
Among those taken into custody were independent businessman Hideki Kinugasa, 48, and his 45-year-old wife Akemi. The other suspects are aged between 27 and 64.
According to the division, the suspects, who migrated from metropolitan areas in the Kanto region beginning several years ago, are believed to have regularly gathered to smoke marijuana at music events and parties.
Sixteen of the suspects admit to the charges while the other eight persons claim that the marijuana was not theirs.