NPA: Arrests for marijuana up 20% in 2017

Between January and June, police arrested 1,390 persons for marijuana-related crimes, an increase by 221 (or 18.9 percent) over the same period in 2016.

Persons in their 20s accounted for the largest number of arrests (557) while persons in their 30s came in second (457). The number of arrests of persons under 20 zoomed up to 156, a jump by about 60 percent. Just over 70 percent of those arrested were first-time offenders.

According to the NPA, many purchases are being assisted by the internet or brokered at clubs.

Over that same period, the number of arrests for the cultivation of marijuana rose by 2 to 54. Meanwhile, the number of smuggling cases roughly doubled to 49.

As well, police seized 50.4 kilograms of the drug in dried form, 20.2 kilograms as resin and 14,111 plants.

The National Police Agency revealed on Thursday that the number of arrests for marijuana-related crimes surged by nearly 20 percent over the first half of the year compared to 2016, reports the Nikkei Shimbun (

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