The Fukuoka District Court ruled against a former Waseda University sumo club member who was charged with violating the Cannabis Control Act for asking an acquaintance in Fukuoka Prefecture to send cannabis to him, saying, ``There was a risk of spreading the harmful effects of cannabis. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison with a suspended sentence.

In July of last year, defendant Yoji Sonoda (20), a third-year student at Waseda University who was a member of the sumo club, called an acquaintance living in Fukuoka Prefecture to ask him to send marijuana, and prepared a mail package containing about 1.5 grams of marijuana. He is charged with violating the Cannabis Control Act for trying to sell the drug to him.

In the ruling on the 30th, Judge Kentaro Shida of the Fukuoka District Court said, ``The defendant not only used marijuana himself, but also repeatedly shared it with his juniors in the sumo club and used it with them, and forced other dorm mates to use it.'' "This was a malicious crime that risks spreading the harmful effects of cannabis."

On the other hand, he sentenced him to 10 months in prison, suspended for 3 years, saying, ``There are circumstances that require him to promise never to use drugs again.''

In response to the ruling, Waseda University said, ``We take the ruling seriously and deeply apologize. Regarding this incident, we will base our judgment on whether there was any inaction within the university, such as not taking measures despite prior knowledge of the incident.'' We will take strict action."