Opinion / From the Press

Drugs akin to a Pandora's box

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-25 08:50

The detention of a series of celebrities for drug use in recent times, though supported by many, has prompted some people to call for the legalization of marijuana because, they say, it is less destructive than other narcotics. Their call betrays their naivety to the harms that marijuana can cause . Excerpts:

China has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs. According to the Criminal Law, narcotics include, among other substances, opium, heroin, methamphetamine, morphine, cocaine and marijuana, and they are strictly banned. Anyone who trades in or consumes any of these drugs is punishable by law.

Marijuana is no less addictive than other types of drugs. Jacey Chan, son of kungfu star Jackie Chan and the latest celebrity to be detained for using drugs, said that he smoked marijuana for the first time in the Netherlands in 2006. He thought it was not an addictive drug, but later found it almost impossible to quit. Zhang Mo, another young actor, was arrested for the second time for taking drugs; he was first detained for the same offense two years ago.

Apart from eating into people's money and health, narcotics also generate a lot of social evils. Addicts who have gone broke are known to have used extreme means, including theft and murder, just to get their quota of drugs, which means they are a threat to themselves as well as people around them.

Some countries, such as the Netherlands, have lifted the ban on marijuana. But the cost of tackling the trouble created by such a move remains high. The US state of Alaska once legalized marijuana only to see the number of young marijuana addicts increase by 2.6 times the national average. Therefore, drugs, whatever their types, are like a Pandora's box that should never be experimented with.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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