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Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009

HAVE YOUR SAY

Extracting the urine: no legal grounds for deportation?

Re: Last month's Just Be Cause column, headlined "Cops crack down with 'I pee' checks":

One can go to Amsterdam, where weed is legal, or to major cities like Boston, London or Berlin where it has been decriminalized, or San Francisco where medical marijuana is legal, and in any of these places have a smoke without breaking the law. Now, if the cops test your urine in Japan you will come up positive, and be deported — but for what crime? One can smoke a joint legally overseas and respect the law while within Japan and still end up being punished for it. Ridiculous.

The other point people should bear in mind is that the laws against cannabis in Japan all relate to possession. A positive urine test for ganja does not in and of itself make you guilty of any crime under Japanese laws.

The cops will use this result to raid a detainee's home in the hope of finding something — or planting something — but barring this they cannot bust you for a positive urine test. I'd be interested to know on what grounds they are deporting people.

GIOVANNI FAZIO
Tokyo

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