A record 5,034 people were involved in cannabis-related crimes in Japan in 2020, with teens and those in their 20s accounting for the majority of the offenders, police data showed Thursday.

The figure rose 713 from the previous year for the seventh consecutive yearly increase and exceeded 5,000 for the first time.

Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2020, shows cannabis plants confiscated by police in Aichi Prefecture. (Kyodo)

The National Police Agency warned that many young people are not aware of the risk of drugs due to the circulation of “positive information online” and vowed to boost cyber patrols and crack down on drug deals using social media.

According to a survey involving 748 of the total offenders, just 16.7 percent said they were aware of the dangers of using cannabis.

Of the 5,034 people, 887 were aged between 14 and 19, up 278 from the previous year, and 2,540 were in their 20s, up…

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