Japan’s Health Ministry Cracks Down on Hallucinogens and Quasi-legal Drugs

To clamp down on hallucinogens and quasi-legal drugs being sold as herbs, the health ministry will designate four types of regulated drugs as narcotics, ministry officials said Saturday.

The designation will be the first one in four years. The ministry plans to issue them more often — at least once a year — and impose a blanket regulation on drugs that produce similar effects but have slightly different ingredients, to tighten control of quasi-legal drugs and other hallucinogens, the officials said.

The four types of drugs — JWH-018, cannabicyclohexanol, MDPV and mephedrone — will be classified as narcotics, just like stimulants, as early as August.

Read the rest of the story: Ministry cracks down on quasi-legal drugs.

2channel, Japans Largest Website, used by Illegal Drug Trafficking Ring

Drugs, and drug culture, are common and prevalent in much of the West. Ditto for Japan, even if superficially the country seems immune to such devices. Its not.

Sometimes buying drugs in Japan is as easy as walking up to someone standing on a corner in Tokyos Roppongi. Sometimes, its far more complex, say, if you are in some small town or a boring suburb. Enter the internet.

Twenty-year-old Ryuji Ota and 9 other accomplices set up a drug trafficking ring on 2channel, the countrys largest bulletin board. Westerners are perhaps familiar with 4chan, which was inspired by Japans Futaba Channel 2chan.net, which was created during looming threats of a 2channel shutdown.

Read the rest of the story: Japans Biggest Website, Awash in Illegal Drugs.