China vs Canada and U.S. at Odds Over Smuggling
Liu Yuejin, the deputy director of China’s National Narcotics Control Commission claims that legalization of marijuana in parts of the United States and Canada, has led to increased marijuana smuggling into China.
He stated that the number of cannabis users rose 25% in 2018 to 24,000. But when you take into consideration that China has a population of 1.4 billion, even he had to admit that there are very few cannabis users.
As far as the U.S. and their concerns with China, China is guilty of smuggling as well. In 2017 President Trump accused China of being the main source of illicit fentanyl. This is no small accusation as the U.S. is experiencing an opioid crisis. Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and has been associated with one fourth of overdose deaths. Trump has stated that China is using the U.S. Postal service to flood the United States with this deadly drug.
Smuggling Data of Cannabis to China
Liu stated that in 2018, 115 packages of cannabis were sent through international mail. The total weight was 55 kilograms of marijuana. The majority of the smugglers were students or foreign students who arrived home after working outside of China. This is no small offense in a country that can possibly rule for the death penalty in cases with more than 50 grams of a control substance, which includes cannabis.
For those who may think they’re safe partaking cannabis on a recreational level, you should be aware. China has boosted their efforts to hunt down cannabis users. In Beijing, authorities have carried out spot drug test to unsuspecting patrons at nightclubs and bars. In Hong Kong, anyone caught selling, smoking or buying weed could receive a maximum of seven years in jail or a fine of KH$1,000,000 and equivalent of 128,000 USD. Offenders who are found guilty of growing cannabis usually receive time in jail and stiffer fines.
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China warns its citizens in Canada
Cannabis is legal in Canada but this hasn’t stopped China from trying to discourage their citizens from partaking in marijuana while living in Canadian Country. Chinese diplomats sent out a public letter to all Chinese citizen, students were specifically targeted to abstain from cannabis use. The letter also warned people about the dangers of transporting cannabis with them abroad. The letter threatened deportation for marijuana law breakers with past criminal records.
Smuggling of Fentanyl to the U.S.
In 2017, 49,000 Americans died because of fentanyl. The main supply comes from China. Drug smugglers usually deliver fentanyl from China through Mexico’s border or through international mail. The profit margin on this drug is huge, $3,000 can result in $1,500,000 in earnings. It’s also known to be more potent and addictive than heroin, making it an attractive drug for criminals who can make it in small labs and distribute it through easy shipments.
This year China declared that they would ban different types of fentanyl. The tension that these huge influxes of fentanyl have created between the U.S. and China cannot be ignored. This problem has even found its way into the trade war of the two nations. The problem may still persist if China cracks down on its production of this toxic drug. India is in a prime position to enter this lucrative market due to their large chemical infrastructure.
Smuggled Across the Border
If China is the supplier, then Mexico is the trafficker. Mexico has never been a stranger to the transportation of illegal drugs into the United States. Fentanyl has proved to be another deadly substance that is transported to the U.S. by dangerous criminal organizations in Mexico. The drug operations require the use of subcontractors who are experts at transporting, producing and importing synthetic drugs. Small and large criminal organizations are jumping on the opportunity to profit from the drugs popularity. To make matters worse, there has been an increase in fentanyl being laced with marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine.
Related Article: Thousands of California Marijuana Growers Could Lose Their License
Respect for Laws
Every country has different laws that we must respect and its up to the government of each country to keep their citizens safe. The opioid crisis has taken the lives of many Americans and it would be irresponsible of the U.S. Government to ignore the source of the problem. Cannabis is deemed as relatively safe in the U.S. but China ultimately has the last say on what drugs its citizens can and cannot use.
Traveling should be fun and a great way for you to see the world, meet people and learn about different cultures. Partaking in recreational drugs in different countries is a risk that you should calculate. Spending time in jail or dead isn’t something anyone plans for, when traveling abroad. Make safety your number one priority, use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.