OSAKA (TR) – Four police officers in Osaka Prefecture who admitted to smoking marijuana have been dismissed from their posts, police said on Wednesday, reports the Sankei Shimbun (June 24).
The matter began on on June 4, when police arrested Ryota Kurakawa, a 22-year-old officer then stationed at the Sakai Police Station, after 0.16 grams of marijuana was found in a bag at his residence in Kishiwada City.
“I have smoked [marijuana], the suspect said upon being accused of possessing marijuana. An examination of his smartphone led police to the other three officers.
Two of them, aged 20 and 21, were stationed at the Nishisakai Police Station. Meanwhile, the third, 22, was stationed at the Minami Police Station.
The former Nishisakai Police Station officers, who attended the same police academy as Kurakawa, said that they smoked marijuana for the first time at Kurakawa’s residence last October. They later bought marijuana from him.
The former Minami Police Station officer, a former classmate of Kurakawa, said that he bought marijuana from a dealer on four occasions beginning in January. He denied having dealings with Kurakawa.
In addition to announcing the dismissals, police also said that the three other former officers had been sent to prosecutors for violating the Cannabis Control Law for allegedly receiving marijuana.
Kurakawa joined the force in 2018. He was assigned to the Sakai Police Station the following year. He was stationed at a koban police box.
During questioning, he told police that he first smoked marijuana at a music event while a third-year high school student.
After passing the police examination, he stopped smoking temporarily. But, he added, “I met an old acquaintance last fall, and started smoking again. I’ve used [marijuana] dozens of times.”