When: Basically modern - some time between 2000 and '04, though the school for the main character would have been primarily in the 1990s.
Searched: Google'd D.A.R.E. in Japan; drug control programs in japan; marijuana; what does marijuana smoke smell like; what does marijuana smell like; marijuana effects
Read the wikipedia page on marijuana.
Searched relevant tags in this place.
Context: Context is always fun!
Basic storyline is this: character A had a voice in his head. No, he wasn't crazy, said voice in his head was actually a separate person - a spirit - who sort of off-and-on borrowed A's body for several years. During this time they learned about the existence of each other and then grew very close, in the BFF closer-than-brothers sense. Now, in the story, the voice in character A's head has moved on to the afterlife, and character A can't cope with the silence of not having him there. He first gets addicted to music, then makes recordings of himself pretending to be the spirit who was possessing him, and then after that he starts playing with drugs in addition to the recordings, with the aim of trying to trick himself into thinking that the spirit is back again.
1) Does Japan have some kind of program like D.A.R.E. over in America? (Just in case anyone doesn't have the slightest idea what I'm talking about, D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Program - they come around to elementary and middle schools and whatnot and talk about how Drugs Are Bad and not all the cool people actually do them. Anyway.) Is it one of those things that will be covered, or is it more hush-hush and societal expectations are what's supposed to keep folks from trying it? I know that the social stigma is pretty high and that Japan tends to be more reserved as a culture, but I'm not sure about anything beyond that.
RIGHT, and this is the reason that you should never merely rely on wikipedia or anything of the kind and why knowing people who know things is always a useful thing. (I love all you guys, thank you for helping me keep from making an idiot of myself.)
I'm looking for a mild-to-mid-strength hallucinogen that could let someone who is listening to recorded tapes of another person be convinced that this person is actually there, even if they don't actually see them. Preferably something that isn't horribly difficult to obtain/illegal, especially in Japan, and preferably isn't (or isn't very) physically addictive. I've already had some wonderful suggestions, but I kind of want to know more. About everything. :D
Also, if there's anyone who knows of an over the counter cold or cough medicine that has drowziness as a side effect (like Nyquil or something) and could get you high, could you please tell me?
In other news - I can't believe that I didn't already know about this place. I am a detail-oriented freak, and this sort of stuff like cream for me. 8D
ETA: Also yes - I know nothing. Less than nothing. I know the sort of nothing you know when all of your knowledge comes from independent reading, most of it online. I grew up in Utah, you see, in a small corner of suberbia that is by Salt Lake City. You... really don't find much drug use in that corner of the world.