Newsbrief: Japanese Author, Legalization Advocate Gets Suspended Sentence for Marijuana Possession 5/30/03

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Prizewinning author Ramo Nakajima was given three years probation and a suspended 10-month prison sentence Monday after being found guilty of possessing a quarter-ounce of marijuana at his home in Takarzuka. The up-and-coming novelist and essayist has written frequently and graphically about alcohol and drug use, and he won the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for New Writers with his novel "Konya Subete no Bar de" ("Tonight, in Every Bar"). He was arrested during a raid on his home on February 4.

Nakajima has called for the legalization of marijuana since before his arrest. At his first court session in April he called Japan's marijuana laws "nonsense."

Judge Masaki Nishida chided the writer at sentencing. "Although the impact of his deeds on his readers cannot be dismissed, he has promised to win back their confidence with his work," Nishida said. "You should not forget that you have your own readers." "I see," replied Nakajima.

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Issue #289, 5/30/03 Editorial: For Decency's Sake, No More No-Knock Drug Raids | Canadian Government Introduces Cannabis Decriminalization Bill | Ed Rosenthal to be Sentenced Wednesday -- Could Escape Mandatory Minimum as Pleas for Leniency Roll In, Supporters Prepare to Rally | DRCNet Book Review: "Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use," by Jacob Sullum (Tarcher & Putnam, 24.95 HB) | Democratic Presidential Contender Endorses Medical Marijuana -- Ohio's Kucinich First Out of the Gate | Saying Yes: New Book Offer from DRCNet | Action Alerts: Medical Marijuana, HEA Drug Provision, Global Legalization and Drug Treaty Reform Petition | Newsbrief: NYPD Under Fire in Death of Woman in Botched Drug Raid | Newsbrief: Federal Hepatitis C Control and Prevention Bill Filed | Newsbrief: Mississippi Drug Czar Not One to Let the Law Get in His Way | Newsbrief: The Hash Fields of Morocco | Newsbrief: Dutch Coffee Shops Take Hit in Anti-Tobacco Campaign | Newsbrief: New Zealand to War on Evil Meth | Newsbrief: Garcia Marquez Takes Back His Legalization Comments, Sort Of | Newsbrief: Gambian Narcs Mar Marley Remembrance with Raids | Newsbrief: Japanese Author, Legalization Advocate Gets Suspended Sentence for Marijuana Possession | Reflections Seeking Submissions for Special Issue on Prison | The Reformer's Calendar
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