Yesterday, a Korean exchange student was arrested for sexually assaulting a female classmate after getting high on weed. The suspect and two other Korean students (one was female) were blazing it up in CUHK. After getting high, the suspect tried to sexually assault the female. She broke free, and the suspect gave chase, naked. If they had done some research, they might have thought twice before smoking weed in Hong Kong.
Liberal Western nations are beginning to legalise marijuana
In Canada, recreational use of marijuana, though technically illegal, is tolerated by the authorities. According to the Canadian Government, in 2015, 30% of young adults reported using cannabis the previous year. Last month, the Canadian Government announced that it will introduce legislation to legalise marijuana nation-wide on 1 July 2018. Medicinal use of marijuana has been legal since 2001.
Rationale for legalisation of marijuana in Canada
According to the Canadian Government, legal production and sale of regulated, quality-controlled cannabis would combat the illegal cannabis market. As such, the government’s regulations on cannibis would prevent organised crime from profitting from the illegal drug trade. Regulations on marijuana would be similar to tabacco control regulations. In short, marijuana will be taxed by the government.
Marijuana is classified in same category as cocaine in Hong Kong
Whilst medicinal use of marijuana is legal in Canada and parts of the US, it is very much illegal in Hong Kong. Cannabis is classified as a “dangerous drug” under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, alongside with heroin and cocaine. Under the Ordinance, a person in possession of or inhales a dangerous drug is liable to a fine of HK$1m and 7 years’ imprisonment.
Unlike Canadians, the Hong Kong public’s attitude to marijuana is very conservative. This is interesting considering that Hong Kong had long been a stronghold for the Chinese opium trade since the 18th century. The drug trade led to the Opium Wars which forced China to concede Hong Kong to Britain to permanently base their drug business in the colony. For a city that made its riches from the drug trade, conservative attitudes towards marijuana is perhaps ironic. But as Scarface says, “Don’t get high on your own supply.”