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Japanese student, 17, faces jail in Bali for marijuana

  1. enquirewithin
    A Japanese teenager charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana on the Indonesian resort island Bali faces up to 12 years in jail, prosecutors said.

    The 17-year-old, a student at an international high school on the island, was arrested after police found 2.61 grams of the drug in his trouser pocket, AFP reports.

    In a closed-door trial at Denpasar district court, prosecutors charged the teen with drug possession, which carries a sentence of up to 12 years in prison, and drug abuse, which carries up to four years in jail, prosecutor I Wayan Widana said today.

    “The defendant had violated Indonesian law for possession of marijuana with the maximum penalty of 12 years,'' Widana said.

    “The defendant also used the drugs himself. Based on his confession, he bought the marijuana for 300,000 rupiah (US$31.40),'' he added.

    Prosecutors said the teenager lived with his mother, a Japanese travel agent who has worked in Bali for more than a decade. His father is in Japan.

    During the hearing the boy's lawyers argued that he should be let off as he was a minor.
    “At the trial today, we urged the judges and prosecutors to consider his young age,'' one of the lawyers, Ahmad Hadiana, said. “As he is still a child, we want him to be returned to his parents because he is only a victim of drug-trafficking.’’

    The trial resumes on Monday with witness testimonies.

    ____________or __________________

    A Japanese teenager who was arrested in Indonesia for possession of drugs is looking at some very serious jail time. 17 year old Yoshioka Ryusei is looking at 12 years in prison for carrying 2.61 grams of marijuana while on the resort island of Bali. A student at an international high school on the island, that small amount of an illegal substance could cost him spending almost all of his 20s behind bars.

    The first hearing of Ryusei’s trial was held in the Denpasar District Court on Wednesday, seeing him charged with the possession of narcotics, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 12 years. As he also admitted to using marijuana himself, he was also charged with drug abuse, another crime that carries up to 4 years in jail. He said he bought the drug, an amount equal to $31, for personal use. The boy’s attorney, Ahmad Hadiana, has pleaded that based on his youth, and that he fell victim to a drug dealer, he should be released to the custody of his parents.

    While Ryusei’s father lives in Japan, his mother has worked as a Japanese travel agent in Bali for more than 10 years. The prosecutors have not specified what length of sentence they are seeking, but the trial will continue next week. While this may seem an incredibly harsh penalty for a minor, Indonesia takes its drug related crimes very seriously. In November of last year, a 14 year old Australian boy sentenced to two months in a detention facility for possession of 3.6 grams of marijuana. He avoided a lengthier sentence because of his age and agreement to participate in drug rehabilitation, however he was still immediately deported after his release.

    [via Jakarta Post]



  1. storkfmny
    WOW....30 bucks for a couple of joints?
    Why would anyone go to a place like this knowing of what could happen, I don't get it.
    The whole world needs to start over.
  2. Basoodler
    I'm sure his mother isn't smoking pot , so the strict drug laws didn't have a role in her decision. The question is, why would the boy buy and smoke weed in a strict Muslim country when the penalty for a dime bag is 12 years?

    I would think if the boy is a Japanese citizen, maybe japan would go to bat for him considering his age. I am however let down by the compassion of society in general .. so they probably won't
  3. enquirewithin
    Bali is a place you don't buy weed. People try to sell it to tourists especially in Kuta, the most touristy area. The Lonely Planet guidebook warns you that these people also work for the police, as in parts of Peru's tourist traps, but unlike Peru they are harder to pay off.

    If you want a smoke don't go to Bali! It is not being Moslem or not. Pakistan, for example, you could buy it everywhere when it was safe to travel there (before the US started tearing the country apart). This is what the UN and the US want-- draconian anti-drug laws. Islam is not very anti-cannabis, but the US forces its own twisted values on vassal states like Indonesia. The way they enforce drug laws is up to them, but remember that the US drove out Indonesia's socialist government in favor of the murderous Suharto.

    Singapore, that 'fine country' (as in fines for everything), is even more draconian and it is not Moslem but is dictatorship.
  4. Basoodler
    Is it even illegal in Pakistan.. I was working on a forward base there right after 911 (air force) and the locals who worked on the base kept a plate of hash on their work area and smoked it right out in the open. A few brave souls traded playboys for a slice of hash.. I just figured it was legal

    I just mentioned Muslim because in general they have some of the most extreme punishments for crimes.. I saw in a newspaper in Pakistan that a girl and boy were found to be in a relationship before the boy was at the age that such things were allowed.. the punishment was the GIRL was raped by the town elders to punish HER family.
  5. enquirewithin
    Hashish is only technically illegal in Pakistan. In certain areas you had to be careful, such as the train station in Lahore (probably police looking for bribes). Of course, Pakistan has become too dangerous for Westerners now. Pakistani friends tell me not to go there. Shame, it is a wonderful country.

    In India you can be given 8 years in jail for possession but there is an unwritten code that if you don't smoke in public or you smoke in a temple with a chillum baba, it is acceptable, but areas like the Parvati Valley are risky too because too many foreigners have set up businesses there in the past.

    Laos and Cambodia are other countries where cannabis is now illegal. In Cambodia it was on sale in the the market, ready rolled. Thanks to the US and UN it has know gone very slightly underground. The US didn't mind illegally carpet bombing areas of both countries but smoking grass-- that can't be allowed. They supported Pol Pot, one of the worst mass murders in recent history in the UN, long after he was thrown out of Cambodia.

    Muslim countries states like Dubai and Saudi do have incredibly draconian drug laws but Singapore executes the most 'drug dealers' (the amounts for 'dealing' are very low). Singapore's is secular-- but worship of the state is the norm!
  6. Basoodler
    Even in 2001 I thought Pakistan was far more dangerous than Afghanistan. The Afghans were more curios and polite in general.

    I know what you mean by them asking weird questions too.. in both India and Pakistan guys would come up speaking English and ask random odd questions.. like "how much do you make a week".. we always gave ridiculous answers like "$14" and at least in Pakistan they always followed with a "me too"..

    Its funny because if they didn't like one persons answers they always acted like they couldn't understand them and asked the next guy.

    I still find it odd that we at times flew to India and the two countries went in to defcon 5 (nuclear attack) at one point while we were there :). That was a tad stressful

    I really question America's education system though because even in Afghanistan a lot of the normal spoke decent English and it is not in any way close to their native dialect. When most Americans can't pick up on Spanish and its all around us..
  7. enquirewithin
    I was there about the same time-- 2000, weeks before Musharaff took over and the border closed. I didn't go into Afghanistan, just the tribal areas near Peshawar, The Afghans I met were very polite but armed to the teeth! Some parts of Pakistan were very dangerous, but others, like up in the North quite safe and incredibly beautiful and hospitable-- especially Hunza valley.

    I would love to visit Afghanistan but not very safe nowadays, I fear.

    People in Pakistan often spoke very good old style English-- "Hello, my dear sir. How are you?"

    Indian and Pakistan are always ins state of tension- the fault of the British, I'm afraid-- yet people still seem to be happy to meet Brits.
  8. ianzombie
    About 95% of Bali's population are Hindu/Buddhist.

    Its a beautiful Island, i was fortunate to spend some time there in 2000, the year before the terrible bombings.
    The drug laws have nothing to do with religion. There are stupid drug laws all over the world.
  9. enquirewithin
    True. Bali is basically a Hindu island, although in a predominantly Moslem country. The island is very pleasant but far too many tourists in most areas. The bombings were 'terrible' but nothing compared to Suharto's US-sponsored mass murder.
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