DODEA teacher and school nurse jailed for alleged cannabis possession in Okinawa


Cannabis possession can result in up to five years in prison under Japan’s cannabis control law. (Akifumi Ishikawa/Stars and Stripes)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A teacher and a nurse at the Okinawa Department of Defense schools were arrested by Japanese police this week for suspected possession of cannabis.

John R. Gouldman, 59, and Holly A. Gouldman, 57, were taken into custody around 7 a.m. Tuesday at their home in Chatan, an Okinawa Police Station spokesperson said Thursday. at Stars and Stripes.

Local police raided the couple’s home after receiving information from the Navy’s Criminal Investigation Service that the couple were suspected of using cannabis. Police found an unspecified amount of dried cannabis in two jars and a plastic bag, the spokesperson said.

John Gouldman is a teacher at Kadena Middle School on Kadena Air Base, according to his LinkedIn page and the Department of Defense Education Activity-Pacific; Holly Gouldman is a nurse at Kubasaki High School at Camp Foster, according to the school’s directory and DODEA.

The couple were still in custody on Thursday and being questioned further “to get the big picture”, the police spokesman said. The couple “admitted to possessing cannabis” after their arrest, he said.

The Gouldmans are considered absent without leave from work, according to an email Thursday from DODEA-Pacific spokeswoman Miranda Ferguson.

“Although DoDEA does not publicly discuss details of personnel matters, officials will take appropriate action,” she wrote.

Cannabis possession can result in up to five years in prison under Japan’s cannabis control law.

However, so far this year, five cases involving Marines smuggling drugs into Okinawa by mail have resulted in fines and suspended sentences of two to three years.

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