Since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, China has been tough on the use of marijuana. Some 70 years later, the communist country still can not stand the use of marijuana and calls it “a new threat.”
Currently, both recreational and medical use of cannabis is illegal according to the Chinese law.
The production, trade and consumption of cannabis are illegal throughout China. Penalties for violating the law are vague, but generally considered harsh. China sees marijuana as a narcotic.
Under Section Seven of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, Article 345, individuals who smuggle, traffic, transport or manufacture narcotic drugs are sentenced to either 15 years of prison, life imprisonment or death, and suffer confiscation of property.
Chinese people have cultivated hemp for thousands of years. The country uses it mainly for making rope, clothing, paper and oil.
There is no medical marijuana legislation allowing for medicinal use of cannabis in China, despite the fact that traditional Chinese medicine has often used it as a painkiller.
Will China ease its grip on marijuana?
“The legalization of marijuana would be disaster to the society,” the People’s Daily quoted Li Wenjun, an anti-drug expert at Chinese People’s Public Security University, as saying.
“Marijuana culture in other countries is no excuse for breaking China’s drug laws,” commented the China Daily.
Last year, Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, said that the legalization of marijuana in Canada and some parts of the United States constitutes “a new threat to China”.
In China, most drug users are foreign students or students who come home after working abroad.