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No forgiveness for artists taking drugs

By Zhang Zhouxiang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-10-13 16:08
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Singer-songwriter Song Dongye (left) says it's a rare opportunity for a pop musician to perform with an orchestra and maestro Tan Dun (right). [Photo provided to China Daily]

On Monday evening, Song Dongye, a Beijing-based singer who had been detained by the police for taking drugs in 2016 and lost his influence since then, complained via his Sina Weibo account that he tried to hold another commercial performance but was stopped because someone reported it to the authorities.

"I took drugs, but I've already been punished for that and I quit drugs," Song wrote. "Why will you not forgive me?"

Here's the answer: Doing drugs is a serious illegal act in China, and those who commit this crime face legal penalties such as detainment and fines.

It should be stressed that when a person takes drugs, he or she is not only paying for a few grams of white powder, but also supporting an entire illicit industry behind it. Illegal drug dealers might spend the money they collect to expand their reach and cheat the system even more.

Hence China strictly forbids drugs, and every year over 300 policemen sacrifice themselves to fight against this scourge.

As a former pop singer, Song had huge numbers of followers, so his drug-related activities might encourage others to do the same, leading to even heavier losses for society.

That's why in domestic public sectors as well as TV or films, anyone taking drugs should get out and never come back. Song is no exception.

Of course, that does not mean anyone should discriminate against Song or his fellow musicians. He took drugs and got punished for it. But now, as a law-abiding citizen, he could study in a college or find a job that doesn't require a noncriminal record, so his legal rights and interests are protected. He can still live and work as a normal person, but his public influence must be gone forever.

In his complaint, Song also cited "high pressure" as an excuse for taking drugs, which seems rather flimsy. Everybody has a lot of work to do and everyone might face great stress in life. But the vast majority of the people can somehow avoid dancing with the demon by taking drugs, so Song's failure is his own fault.

It's time for him to do something positive, instead of continuing to complain.

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