The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is rethinking their strategy regarding the quasi-legal herbs and their sale on the internet. A recent report on the hit-and-run cases, where a youth admitted to be under the influence of the herb, indicates that herbal mixtures can be abused as narcotics and sold online by dealers in a very legitimate way.
The health ministry is monitoring websites and looking for any violations through phrases and descriptions with regards to the herbs. Apparently a few dozen websites have come under the scanner since June. They are selling the herbs with phrases that may violate the law. Known as the “dappo herb,” the mixtures are tainted with unregulated substances and their chemical components only slightly differ from illegal cannabis and other stimulants.
The product descriptions in some cases violate the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law as the sellers of such herbs are prohibited from suggesting the effects of them when ingested. Many users are believed to have abused the herbs by smoking them and inducing a narcotic-drug-like high. Incidentally if the sellers just mention the herbs as “incense” or “aroma” products and leave out the effects of ingesting them, then the ministry cannot do anything about it. Individual prefectures are urging vendors to refrain from selling the quasi-drug because of their detrimental effect. As of now there are 389 dealers in 29 prefectures selling the herbal mixtures.