Widespread marijuana use in Japan

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    The U.S. government seems to think there is “widespread” marijuana use in Japan:

    A U.S. government report on narcotics control Friday pointed to widespread marijuana use in Japan, which also is mentioned as one of the largest markets for methamphetamines in Asia.

    The 2009 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, issued by the U.S. Department of State, said that “marijuana use is widespread” in Japan while “methamphetamine abuse remains the biggest challenge” to the country’s antinarcotics efforts.

    It seems that this claim is based on the fact that the reported number of marijuana offenses in Japan hit an all-time high (-no pun intended-) in 2008. However, before you start thinking Japan is overflowing with stoners, you might want to check and see how it compares to other places with widespread marijuana use:

    Place Population Annual # of reported marijuana offenses
    Japan 127.7 million 3,832
    California, USA 38.6 million 74,119
    New York City, USA 8.3 million 39,700

    [via FG]

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