Laws governing cannabis in Japan are very strict. Illegal since 1948, the use and possession of cannabis are punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a fine, while the cultivation, sale, and transport are punishable by up to 7 to 10 years imprisonment and a fine. Nevertheless, incidents involving cannabis continue to be sporadically reported. Most famously, in recent memory, a police raid in Wakayama Prefecture last year discovered an operation with 11,000 plants growing.

source: Brett Levin

Perhaps because of police crackdowns and the severity of punishment, it would seem that new tricks are being devised to escape police attention. Last month, in Osaka, a janitor was arrested for growing cannabis in his home.

However, what was remarkable about the incident was the fact that the 21 cannabis plants found by police were very small and compact, each one in a small pot and growing not more than 15 inches tall, in contrast to the several feet cannabis usually reaches in normal cultivation.

When questioned by police, the man revealed that he had used techniques perfected by the ancient art of bonsai, pruning and manicuring the plants to keep them small and in order to fit as many of them as possible into the limited size of his home.

You can see his prized cannabis plants which were seized by police in the ANN News report below:

The 35-year old janitor was undoubtedly so proud of his "bonsai" trick that, instead of feeling contrite and gloomy about his looming sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a hefty fine, all he could think about was the success of his cultivation as he boasted to police: "This is the first time I’ve produced such a great crop!"

Bonsai is an art that requires solitude and time, both of which he'll surely have plenty of as he lives out his sentence in jail, although even if they do allow prisoners to have hobbies, I imagine the prison will double check his bonsai plants very thoroughly before they let him begin.

By - Ben K.