Saturday, November 19, 2011

Marijuana Users in Japan Get Free Rent and Meals Paid!

The title of this post should be "Idiot Pot Users in Japan." Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against marijuana or any other drug use for that matter. I think all drugs should be decriminalized... But what I think doesn't matter. If you are in Japan, you'd have to be stupid to do or smoke (possess) marijuana. Because if you're caught, they will throw you in prison.


Mailing marijuana cookies to Japan. Doh! Did anyone ever stop to think, "I guess they might have candies and cookies in Japan! I wonder if sending cookies will look suspicious?" Perhaps this could be proof that marijuana cause brain damage 


Sure, some people will say that marijuana is not bad for you at all and, even though some will disagree, I might agree with them totally that marijuana isn't all that bad for your health. It might even be good for you. I don't know. 


But good or bad, marijuana certainly was lots of fun when I was a university student in the USA. But that was in the USA back in the days when small amounts of marijuana wouldn't land you in jail. 


Is marijuana really all that bad for you? I don't know. But I can guarantee you that, without a shadow of a doubt, getting your ass thrown in jail in Japan for a decade because a little marijuana will certainly be bad for your health. 


The point is that this is not a question of whether or not marijuana is bad for you or not. It is not a question of whether or not marijuana should be illegal or not. The question here is this: Is possession of marijuana in Japan a serious offense in the year 2011? The answer is "Yes. It is! It is a serious crime that holds prison as a penalty."


Interestingly, it is not against the law to smoke marijuana in Japan. The law states that possession of marijuana is a crime. Possession always pre-dates usage. So it is against the law to have any amount of marijuana.


Since it is against the law, if you do possess marijuana in Japan, you take the risk of getting arrested and you face the possibility of a long prison sentence. Once you are caught and arrested, making idiotic claims that, "Marijuana isn't that bad for you!" or "It was only a little bit!" or "I didn't know my friends were going to send it to me in the mail!" Just isn't going to fly. They've heard them all before.


Everyone who gets caught says this kind of stupid thing. The result is always the same: The law will be upheld.


I remember several years ago when an American friend of mine came to Japan to visit her son. She didn't know her way around and the son he was too much of a selfish brat to pick up his mom at the airport so, since she was an old friend, I picked her up.


On the way back in the car, she started asking questions about Japan and telling me all sorts of nonsense that went on between her "Parent of the Year" parenting skills and her dysfunctional kid. She also told me that she sometimes sent her son marijuana in the mail. She said she hid the marijuana, in small amounts, in packages from the USA. I almost hit the roof. I told her to cease that immediately. 


In a typical stupid, ethno-centric, typically American reply, she said to me, 


"Oh. It's OK. I don't use my real address! It's not that much marijuana. Just a little bit. They won't put him into prison for a few grams." 


"No!" I said, "No one here cares about your address. Trust me. It doesn't matter if it's even one little speck. If they catch him with that marijuana, they will put him in prison. No ifs ands or buts."


She wouldn't believe me. 


I had to repeat myself, "No. If they find that marijuana on him or in his home, they will put him in prison!"


She then took the stupidity up a few levels higher by telling me how she so cleverly hid the drugs;


"Oh, they won't find it anyhow. I hide it in ball point pens and cassette tapes."


Jeez! What a fricking stupid woman! Had she never heard of X-ray machines? Didn't she know that they already have ball point pens in Japan? And, incredibly, and as hard as it is going to be to believe, cassette tapes were also plentiful in Japan. In fact Japan manufactured those things!!! I know the genius and technological prowess of the Japanese and, trust me, Japan has had ball pens and cassette tapes for a long time (Pssst! They sell them here at places called, interestingly, "Convenience Stores.") I told her again to stop that practice and also pointed out the obvious that cassette tapes and ball point pens, being mailed from the USA to Japan might look a tiny bit suspicious, no?


I have no doubt that that stupid woman is continuing this foolishness today. 


Well, maybe it's OK, it seems her son is so useless that he can't keep a decent job to feed himself or pay his own rent so maybe it's better for him in prison. What the hell? Free rent and food!


Now, in Japan, today we have another story of another moron coming to Japan from the USA and now facing jail time for marijuana. Now, once again, I am not saying that I agree with Japan's drug laws. I don't. But, the law is the law, and when you go to a foreign country (or even in your own) and you take risks with those laws, you also accept the risk of penalties.


I hope this idiot kid doesn't go to jail, but if he does, I will say, "Just another in a long line of stupid foreigners." Here is the story in yellow with my comments included.


Channel Nine News Reports:


ARVADA - A Colorado School of Mines chemical engineering student remains in a Japanese jail after a friend of his says he mailed the student three cookies and four pieces of candy infused with marijuana.


With friends like this guy, who needs enemies?


Japanese prosecutors appear to be using the country's very strict anti-drug laws to go after 25-year-old Tim Wilson. 
That's their job.
Wilson was attending Tohuku (sic) University in Sendai, Japan, as an exchange student when he was arrested back in August.
He's remained in custody ever since.
"They keep pushing the trial back," his father Jeff Wilson said on Wednesday. "Originally, they told us it would be no later than Oct. 24. Then they told us December, and then two weeks ago we found out it would be in January."
Japanese law says that a person can be arrested and detained for 22 days before charges are brought against them. If the prosecutors go to the judge at the end of the 22 days and ask for an extension, the judge will usually allow it. These extensions cane be repeated twice for a total of 66 days. If Tim never accepted these cookies into his possession, they will probably release him at the end of the 66 days and he will be put on the first plane back to the USA under a deportation ruling. He will never be allowed back into Japan again. If the police and prosecutors find marijuana at Tim's apartment or they find his friends in Japan have some and they got it from Tim then I hope Tim has fun with his new friends in prison.
Tim Wilson's friend agreed to speak with 9NEWS on Wednesday if we agreed not to use his name. He said in May he mailed three peanut butter cookies and four "Cheeba Chews" to Tim Wilson inside a package containing other items such as books and CD's.
Duh! Moron! He doesn't want them to use his name? Why not? he doesn't want the whole world to know how much of an ass he is? Amazingly, but true, Japan is one of the riches countries in the world and we have lots of cookies and candies and cakes... Hasn't it struck "friend" for even a second that mailing $1.00 candies and cookies to Japan is a red flag and might look real suspicious?
That package never made it to Wilson. 
If this is true, and it never made it to Wilson, and Wilson has no marijuana at his residence, he will probably be deported at the end of 66 days.
In June, Japanese customs officials flagged the package and then started an investigation which eventually led to Wilson's arrest on Aug. 3.
Jeff Wilson has been told his son faces up to 10 years in prison.
"We really believed this would be cleared up in the first 10 to 20 days. We thought he'd be released," Jeff Wilson said.
Well, you believed wrong.
Tim Wilson was registered as a medical marijuana patient with the State of Colorado when the marijuana edibles were sent, although federal and state laws prohibit the mailing of such items. He was given a medical marijuana card for pain in his back.
Medical Marijuana patient, eh? That's supposed to means he needs it to survive or live a life without pain. Well, his coming to Japan is a good argument for the people who don't want to allow medical marijuana. If this guy can go to Japan and do without it, it must not be that much of a medical priority. PS: Card or no card, marijuana is illegal in Japan.
Jeff Wilson insists his son never requested the edibles and that the friend took it upon himself to send the package to Japan. The friend told 9NEWS the same thing.
Sure, you can go to any prison in America and every person instituted there will tell you the same thing, "I didn't do anything wrong! They go the wrong guy!"
Some of the confusion may be due to an email exchange between Tim Wilson and his friend in which Wilson wrote, "That would be a good idea," when asked about sending marijuana edibles to Japan.
Jeff Wilson believes his son was simply being sarcastic when he wrote that and that language issues between the two countries was at play at the time.
Oh yeah. Dumb friend goes out and spend his money on marijuana; then spends his time making cookies; then spends his own money again on sending marijuana to Japan and it's all a misunderstanding between friends? Well, that's completely believable, right? Wrong. Bullshit! I believe Tim Wilson's father believes wrong and I don't think for a second he actually believes that cock and bull story.
Tim Wilson was also volunteering with the country's ongoing earthquake relief efforts.
Aha! Playing the sympathy card? Isn't that nice? By the way, volunteering is something that Tim (and every other person) in this country has done. No big deal. Sentimentality, or the lack of it, should not guide decisions concerning whether or not the law has been broken and if actions should be taken.
Tom McNamara is a Denver attorney with Davis, Graham and Stubbs and specializes in international law. He calls Japan's anti-drug laws "some of the most severe in the world."
"The amount [of marijuana] matters not," he said on Wednesday. "We could be talking about one gram or five kilos."
He says Japanese authorities have recently started to concentrate on cases involving drugs mailed into the country.
Finally, someone who says something that makes sense.
Jeff Wilson is now actively trying to bring more attention to his son's case.
"They've got the wrong guy," he insisted.
Bwa! Ha! Ha! Ha! "I'm innocent! Innocent, I tell ya!"
They arrested Paul McCartney for marijuana in Japan. They will most certainly throw your ass in jail for the same. Here, too, McCartney says he "didn't know"!

Tim Wilson has a 3.98 grade point average at Mines and his father showed 9NEWS a letter where faculty members were recommending he consider trying to become a Rhodes Scholar.
Well, with a 3.98 grade point average, Tim sure doesn't seem to be all that bright. 


NOTE: The purpose of this post is not to kick this dimwit kid and his naive father. It's, hopefully, to make sure that someone will read this and make damn sure that they aren't the next Tim Wilson.


Tim is lucky, actually, that this happened in Japan. In some other Asian countries the penalty for what he is involved with is death.


NOTE TWO: I can bet you a donut that the friend that baked these marijuana cookies and sent them to Tim in Japan was high when he did so. Just goes to show that great ideas when you are high are usually not such great ideas later on when you are sober

12 comments:

Andy "In Japan" said...

Oh my. What if someone really and truly didn't know that someone had mailed them some pot? Maybe an enemy you have in America wants to exact revenge so they mail a box to you labeled *pot* on the outside in bright red letters.

Then the government in Japan intercepts the package, finds a bit of Mary Jane, and into jail you go.

It sounds more like something the American government would do.

It's not only frightening, but unjust and cruel. These drug laws have to go.

By the way, if the kid in this story knew about Japan's drug laws and did anything to encourage the shipment, then I don't have a lot of sympathy for his plight.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Thanks Andy,

Perhaps. The email saying, "That would be a good idea" (concerning sending pot) doesn't bode well for his case. It shows, at the minimum, that he was aware of the conversation.

Anyhow, if you ever get a strange package from someone you don't know sent to you. Do NOT open that package. Report it or turn it into to the post office immediately.

Buy Tera Gold said...

Oh my. What if somebody certainly and really didn't understand that somebody experienced mailed them some pot? maybe an enemy you have in America wishes to exact revenge so they mail a box for you labeled *pot* concerning the outside in vivid red-colored letters.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Folks, most people don't know the mailing addresses of their "enemies" especially if those enemies live in a foreign nation... This idea is a bit silly.

Andy "In Japan" said...

Oh yeah? What if I was paranoid and thought that some enemy of mine learned to speak and write Japanese and then they found out where I was living in Japan and then sent the box of pot and then the government found the box. Then what would happen?

I'll tell you what would happen. As soon as I finish this bottle of wine, I'll tell you, I swear.

Marc Sheffner said...

McCartney was deported and told never to return (tho he was allowed back in 10 years later to do a concert). The Japanese had even refused him a visa earlier than 1980 because of earlier drug convictions in a country that is not Japan and has nothing to do with Japan and is a thousand miles away from Japan. That's how seriously they take it.

Of course, YOU are rich and famous like McCartney, so the authorities will no doubt be LENIENT and merely DEPORT you and then kindly let you back in after TEN YEARS, so you've really nothing to worry about. Got a light?

mikeintokyorogers said...

Thanks Marc! Yeah... There's two laws on the books. One for us riff raff the other for the ultra wealthy... King's priviledge, ya know!

Thanks Andy, you crack me up. Thanks for the good laugh this morning!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mike!

What I dislike is the behavior of the family. It appears that the family is trying to "game the system" in Japan, as if it were the justice system in the USA. It seems to me that the volunteering angle or gambit, is supposed to indicate to the judge, that he is both a good man, and that he is a member of the upper classes. Meaning that the rules really shouldn't apply to him. Since in the USA, the middle and lower classes don't have that much free time to volunteer. They have to spend most of their time working, or recovering from work.

It seems to reflect the laws, the behavior, and cheap sentimentality of certain classes in the USA. Unfortunately it may be even global, but it appears that the upper classes enjoy penalizing/incarcerating those of a certain hue or income tax bracket, but when it comes to their own, they don't want the law to apply to them.

What's the leitmotiv of this article? Don't be an idiot? The laws may be dumb, but breaking the law is dumber? Do people who do drugs go down the road to ruin? Or, do people on the road to ruin go to using drugs? Just because a visitor doesn't follow certain laws or cultural rules, in a country foreign to them, don't be surprised if the native people, actually do generally follow the rules and laws?

Tell us Mike, do you prefer the justice system in Japan or the USA?

mikeintokyorogers said...

Dear Anonymous,
Your letter is marvelous. It brings up a good many points.
First off, that the upper classes have this "King's advantage" is disgusting to me. But what to do about it? It would be absolutely idiotic to think that Japan is any better or worse than the USA is in this point (concerning the law)... But what it says about society as a whole is disconcerting. I think this would make a great blog topic (not just one single post) as this is a very deep topic.
Yes. I think breaking certain laws is idiotic. For example smoking marijuana in Japan. I see it as risking 10 years in prison (as well as loss of job, family, etc) for the pleasures of a 30 minute high. If you want to get high - especially an American - do it at home.
Other laws I never break are traffic laws. I hate the cops and I hate the laws. BUT! I chuckle every time I go past someone getting stopped for speeding, etc. I believe that, for example, traffic laws are not to protect the public, but actually hidden taxation, so In my twisted mind, it is an anti-government act to avoid paying these taxes. Hopefully Leviathan will collapse under the weight of the attempted enforcement of such laws.
I can dream, can't I?
Breaking laws for political purposes or to protest the government or overthrow the government are a different thing and, in some cases, doing so (breaking laws) could be a citizens right.
I can't see how sending dope through the mail could be conceived as a sacrifice or revolutionary act.
I've written about my own drug escapades here: Admit the Worst Thing You've Ever Done and Be Happy. I risked doing drugs in Japan and a prison sentence too. I was very careful with what I did and who I dealt with. I never bought drugs on the street from small time dealers. Only from wealthy businessmen and civic leaders. But, like this guy, sending small amounts of drugs through the international mail is just plain stupid, And an international crime, Trafficking is.
As far as the motive of this article, I hope I addressed this and in the link above.
As far as following the rules or not. These aren't just "rules" they are "laws". In any country in the world. you might be forgiven for not knowing cultural or social "rules" but ignorance of the law is never an excuse.
And, this is not an article about whether Japan's justice system I better than the USA or not. I think that the fact that the USA imprions more people than any other country in the world speaks for itself. As far as laws are concerned (like I said, a different subject) I prefer the justice system in Japan over the USA.
I'd love to buy you a drink and talk some more because this would be a great topic! Thanks so very much.

Anonymous said...

Hello again Mike!

Thanks for the kind comments! As to the "King's advantage" the first steps are to become aware of it, and to discuss it. Why do you think there isn't any difference between the USA and Japan in regards to this topic? Also, why do you think this is disconcerting? The neglect in the media to this topic I think in effect speaks to its importance. Why do you think that the media won't touch it?

As to doing idiotic things... I agree it's generally not a very good thing to do drugs, especially in places with harsh consequences. There are a couple of quotes or sayings that come to the top of my head. The first, goes along the lines of, that the greatest attribute of man is not his intellect, but his ability to rationalize almost any behavior.The second is, that most crime in the world is not done out of evil or malice, but out of boredom and indifference. I don't know where exactly his behavior fits, but I think I can say that there seems to be a degree of hubris involved.

As to traffic laws... They may have been set up originally for safety, but they have metastasized into hidden taxation, especially in the USA. I'm hyper-vigilant about trying to obey them, because at a base level, I can't afford the fines.

Here in the US, the local governments are in financial trouble. So they take the easy way out, and raise the fines. For example, what used to be a $20 ticket for jaywalking is now $160 + fees. What was a $50 ticket for failure to wear a seat-belt is now around $250 + fees. What used to be a $50-75 ticket for going 0-9 MPH over the posted speed limit on a highway is now $250-300 + fees. In a similar vein, it brings to mind "george4title" on Youtube for a little seen part of American life.

Unfortunately, as an amateur historian, it seems when a "Leviathan" collapses, usually a worse Leviathan takes its place.

Albeit, breaking laws can be taken as revolutionary acts, just look at some other countries in history regarding mind altering substances, eg: the Netherlands, and the USA, for example. I don't think his behavior qualifies as any sort of revolutionary act.

In regards to "rules" vs. "laws." I think I defined them in my head as the first being rather cultural or arbitrary, and the second being universal. I think that one should do many things. Hence rules. The law(s) on the other hand, IMHO, are things that at a basic level that one must do to be considered a human. I think they aren't even to level of the golden rule: "do unto others that which you want done unto you," but rather even more "base," let's call it the silver rule: "DON'T do unto others that which you don't want done unto you."

Again, about "rules"/"laws" someone said something like, the first are things that one should do, whereas the second are things that one must do, at the point of a gun. Do you think that is a better definition?

As to your drug experiences... Congratulations! Again see my previous point in regards to "rules" vs. "laws." As to sending pot through the mail, I don't think that he can be that naive about the law.

Anonymous said...

(cont'd)


As to the saying of "ignorance of the law in no excuse..." From what I gather, it is a misnomer that has been repeated especially in Anglo-Saxon countries for centuries. From what I remember from college class, I was told that it dated either to the Greeks or Romans who would put the laws in stone on a building or tablet in a town square. So in ancient times, it was true, that ignorance of the law couldn't be used as an excuse, since the laws would be readily available, would have to fit on a wall or tablet. IMHO, in our current times, ignorance of the law frequently can be an excuse. Look at a law library, I wouldn't doubt if you stacked each volume from end to end, that the length would stretch for many kilometers. Please see:

http://reason.com/archives/2010/08/02/ignorance-of-the-law-is-no-exc

which goes into some detail.

I'm not altogether sure that the number of people incarcerated in necessarily indicative of the justice system. I think that the reason they are incarcerated in much more important.

I would love to have a drink with you sometime. Unfortunately, it seems that I'm imprisoned in this "armed madhouse," also known as the USA.

All the best for you and yours!

P.S.: I'll try to email later.

Nicole.lascurain@healthline.com said...

Hi Mike,

First off, I came across your site and wanted to say thanks for providing a great health resource to the community.

I thought you might find this marijuana infographic interesting, as it allows readers to pick the side effect they want to learn more about: http://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/marijuana/effects-on-body

Naturally, I’d be delighted if you share this embeddable graphic on http://modernmarketingjapan.blogspot.com/2011/11/marijuana-users-in-japan-get-free-rent.html , and/or share it with your followers on social. Either way, keep up the great work Mike!

All the best,

Nicole Lascurain | Assistant Marketing Manager
p: 415-281-3100 | e: nicole.lascurain@healthline.com

Healthline
660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
www.healthline.com | @Healthline