"Japanese Walter White” Accused Of Teaching Students To Make Ecstasy

By Victoria Kim 04/24/19

The professor could end up in prison for his illicit drug-making activity.

students inside a chemistry lab learning to make ecstasy

A professor dubbed "the Japanese Walter White” has been accused of teaching his students to make illicit drugs.

In Japan, a government license is required to produce narcotics for academic research. Matsuyama University professor Tatsunori Iwamura, 61, did have the license at some point, but it was expired at the time he was accused of having the students make the drugs.

The Japan Times reports that Iwamura was aware that he was breaking the law by conducting the class experiment despite his expired license.

Iwamura allegedly instructed an associate professor and four students to produce MDMA in class—the first time being from 2011-2013 and again from 2016-2017, according to the Times. Then, the professor would take the drugs “into his possession.”

While multiple reports including from the Guardian claim that the professor also had students make 5F-QUPIC, a cannabis-like designer drug, the Times makes no mention of it. 5F-QUPIC, also known as 5F-PB-22, is a controlled substance in the U.S., UK and China.

Iwamura says it was all for the purpose of learning, and nothing else.

Authorities, acting on a tip, did not find ecstasy in a search of the professor’s home or lab at the university. But they did find traces of 5F-QUPIC, according to the Guardian.

Authorities are now investigating the four students and associate professor involved in the illegal drug-making. President of Matsuyama University Tatsuya Mizogami said the university will pursue punitive action against Iwamura following the outcome of the investigation. “We sincerely apologize for causing major concern to students and their parents,” Mizogami said.

Iwamura is facing prison time for his illicit class experiment. The Guardian reports that he could face up to 10 years in prison.

Japanese culture is not at all forgiving about drug use. In March, Sega indefinitely halted sales of its new video game Judgment after allegations surfaced that actor Pierre Taki, who portrayed a yakuza crime boss in the game, was arrested for cocaine possession.

According to the Japan Times, the penalty for cocaine use or possession carries a prison sentence of up to seven years in Japan.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr