China illegal drug trade

Treaties and conventions China is a party to the 1988 U. N. Drug Convention, the 1961 U. N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 U. N. Convention on Psychotropic Substances. China is a member of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and has been a member of the INCB since 1984. China also participates in a drug control program with Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, and the United States.

This program is designed to enhance information sharing and coordination of drug law enforcement activities by countries in and around the Central Asian Region. In June 2000, China and the United States signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement (MLAT). This treaty subsequently went into effect on March 8, 2001. In 1999, China and the United States signed a Bilateral Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement. However, this agreement has not yet been activated.

A May 1997 United States and China Memorandum of Understanding on law enforcement cooperation allows the two countries to provide assistance on drug investigations and prosecutions on a case-by-case basis. China has over 30 MLATs with 24 nations covering both civil and criminal matters. In 1996, China signed MLATs that gave specific attention to drug trafficking with Russia, Mexico, and Pakistan. China also signed a drug control cooperation agreement with India.

China and Burma continue dialogue on counter-drug issues, such as drug trafficking by the United Wa State Army along the China–Burma border. The Government of China encourages and provides assistance for alternative crop programs in Burma along the China–Burma border. China is also building on Memoranda of Understanding that are currently in place with Burma,Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The illegal drug trade in China is influenced by factors such as history, location, size, populaion, and current economic conditions. China has one-fifth of the world’s population and a large and expanding economy. Opium has played an important role in Chinese history since before the Opium Wars in the mid-19th century. China’s large land mass, close proximity to the Golden Triangle, and numerous coastal cities with large and modern port facilities make it an attractive transit center to drug traffickers.

China’s status in drug trafficking has changed significantly since the 1980s, when the country for the first time opened its borders to trade and tourism after 40 years of relative isolation. As trade with Southeast Asian countries and the elsewhere increased, so did the flow of illicit drugs and precursor chemicals from, into, and through China. China introduced licensing management of imports and exports of chemicals that could be used to make narcotics last year, which stopped 3,490 tons of such chemicals from flowing abroad, 52. 6 percent more than the previous year.

This year, China would accelerate the enactment of an ordinance on the control of chemicals for drug manufacturing, which would provide specific standards for the management and inspection of the production, sale, storage, transportation, import and export of such chemicals,  China is being forced to develop a complex counter-drug strategy that includes prevention, education, eradication, interdiction, and rehabilitation. The major drugs of choice are injectable heroin, morphine, smokeable opium, crystal methamphetamine, nimetazepam, temazepam, and MDMA.

Preferences between opium and heroin/morphine, and methods of administration, differ from region to region within China. The use of heroin and opium has increased among the younger population, as income has grown and the youth have more free time. China considers crystal methamphetamine abuse second to heroin/morphine as a major drug problem. The use of MDMA has only recently become popular in China’s growing urban areas. The South China Morning Post reports the rise in the use of ketamine, easy to mass produce in illicit labs in southern China, particularly among the young.

Because of its low cost, and low profit margin, drug peddlers rely on mass distribution to make money, thus increasing its penetrative power to all, including schoolchildren. The journal cites social workers saying that four people can get high by sharing just HK$20 worth of ketamine, and estimates 80 per cent of young drug addicts take ‘K’. [1] [edit]Addict population There are over 900,000 registered drug addicts in China, but the Government recognizes that the actual number of users is far higher. Some unofficial estimates range as high as 12 million drug addicts. Of the registered drug addicts, 83. percent are male and 73. 9 percent are under the age of 35. In 2001, intravenous heroin users accounted for 70. 9 percent of the confirmed 22,000 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) cases. Chinese officials are becoming increasingly concerned about the abuse of methamphetamine and other amphetamine-type stimulants. [edit]Treatment and demand reduction programs Both voluntary and compulsory drug treatment programs are provided in China, although the compulsory treatment is more common. Most addicts who attend these centers do so involuntarily upon orders from the Government.

Voluntary treatment is provided at centers operated by Public Health Bureaus, but these programs are more expensive and many people cannot afford to attend them. Addicts, who return to drug use after having received treatment, and who cannot be cured by other means, may be sentenced to rehabilitation at any one of the special centers for re-education through labor. Demand reduction efforts target individuals between the ages of 17 and 35, since this is the largest segment of drug users. These efforts include, but are not limited to, media campaigns and establishment of drug-free communities. Introduction

Trade in drugs of abuse such as cocaine, heroin and amphetamines (synthetic stimulants) has long been a frustrating feature of the international scene. After attempting for years to combat the drug trade on an individual or bilateral basis, nations have belatedly come to realize that coordinated international action is the only effective way to restrain the trade and, in addition, that social and other broad action is the only means to reduce incentives to participate in it. The illegal drug trade is a worldwide black market consisting of production, distribution, packaging, and sale of illegal psychoactive substances.

The illegality of the black markets purveying the drug trade is relative to geographic location, and the producing countries of the drug markets (many South American, Far East, and Middle East countries) are not as inclined to have “zero-tolerance” policies, as the consuming countries of the drug trade (mostly the United States and Europe) are. The economic reality of the massive profiteering inherent to the drug trade serves to extend its reach despite the best efforts of law enforcement agencies worldwide.

In the wake of this reality, the social consequences (crime, violence, imprisonment, social unrest) of the drug trade are undeniably problematic. The solution to the problems of illegal drug trafficking lies not in tougher laws or law enforcement but in the attitudes of people toward the sale and consumption of such items. International cooperation Since the scope of the drug abuse problem varies from country to country, states have traditionally addressed the issue individually.

A number of politicians in Latin America and elsewhere have argued that close international cooperation to address the drug trade would endanger national “sovereignty. ”  Because Europeans have long claimed that most drugs were only “passing through,” stopping the traffic was given a low priority. Drugs destroy lives and communities, undermine sustainable human development and generate crime. Drugs affect all sectors of society in all countries; in particular, drug abuse affects the freedom and development of young people, the world’s most valuable asset.

Drugs are a grave threat to the health and well-being of all mankind, the independence of States, democracy, the stability of nations, the structure of all societies, and the dignity and hope of millions of people and their families. THE UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DRUG CONTROL PROGRAMME In 1991, the UN International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) was established to coordinate UN drug control activities and to serve as the focal point for the UN Decade against Drug Abuse (1991-2000). The UNDCP subsequently continued its activities, expanded the scope of its efforts and increased the number of projects it oversees.

While international cooperation has traditionally focused on enforcement, some move toward complementary action has taken place. In March 1993, delegates at the 36th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs adopted a resolution calling on governments to give priority to preventing drug abuse and to treating and reintegrating drug abusers in society. This new focus on reducing demand was seen by many countries as a complement to the traditional focus on enforcement, and as an important part of a balanced strategy to combat drug abuse. 22)  The UNDCP’s budget is now about US$160 million a year – slightly less than in the late 1990s – and a substantive portion of that budget goes towards reducing the supply of drugs through alternative development. Apart from the general decline in regular budget resources that is affecting all parts of the UN, 90% of the UNDCP’s funds come from voluntary contributions by seven governments and the European Union. This raises questions about both the nature of future expertise and the international “ownership” of the UNDCP.


In the past decade, it has become evident that the traditional view of the drug trade as a northern, and particularly American, problem is too simplistic. As former Colombian Minister of Justice Rodrigo Lara Bonilla pointed out, countries that begin by producing and trafficking in drugs end up by consuming them. (40)  The main beneficiaries of the international drug trade may be a relatively small number of sophisticated trafficking organizations, but the victims include countless drug addicts around the world and innocent victims of crimes committed to support drug habits.

Moreover, it has also become increasingly evident that the illicit drug trade has a substantial negative impact on all aspects of development. Important success has been achieved in the past two decades through countries’ individual action and through bilateral and multilateral cooperation on enforcement measures, and work is continuing along these lines. At the same time, it is essential to recognize the deep social roots of the international drug problem and the need for cooperation on a much broader basis than simple enforcement.

According to Canada’s former Solicitor General, Herb Gray, The drug trade is dependent on demand and only by developing preventative strategies that strike at the underlying factors that lead people to use drugs in the first place can we curb drug abuse and trafficking. These factors, or root causes, such as sexual abuse, broken homes, illiteracy, physical abuse, and lack of parental guidance are more social problems than they are problems of crime. (41) Solutions (not abt china) While it must become legal to sell and possess drugs.

It should also remain illegal to use them. The reason for legalizing sale and possession is to eliminate the traffickers. Legal drugs will not command high prices, most are quite common, and what revenue there is will go to established businesses and will be heavily sin taxed. One result of this change will be a temporary upswing in drug use. There is a need to educate, prosecute, sentence, treat, fire, etc. people of a country. The money for prevention, identification and treatment will come from the current enforcement budgets.

With more than $6 billion dollars spent annually to lose our war on drugs, we can instead fund a vast array of prevention and treatment options and still have money left over for schools, hospitals and more. A key component in this policy change is our social networks, churches, schools, teams, volunteer organizations and the like. In these venues the anti-drug message must be hammered home frequently, constantly. It must become unacceptable to show up high at any event. This will take time to spread but is still very important. This policy change is not only a domestic issue.

Drugs fund terror. We take away the funding we cripple the organizations. Al Qaeda would have to sell its heroin at market prices. That is about 1% of what they get now. Mexico drug gangs would suddenly have no capital with which to control that government and terrorize the people. Legalize the sale and possession, criminalize use within drug treatment laws, mandate testing for anyone employed at companies who opt in, provide rapid adjudication in specialty drug courts, provide varied treatment, make active users pariahs in their communities and end our funding of terror.

According to china China legalized the use of opium in 1858 and soon became the biggest producer of it. Many people became addicted to it, which had many negative side effects. By 1900, ninety million Chinese were addicted to the drug, and it took fifty years of repressive police measures and rehabilitation to correct the problem. Today, opium and other addictive drugs are illegal. As efforts grew to place narcotics under international control, the Opium Convention of 1912 was agreed to help resolve the British-caused drug problems in China.

Fearing the moral downfall of society, the Chinese government prohibited the sale of opium in 1729 and in 1799 forbade the importation of opium for smoking purposes. After 129 years of prohibition and under threat from the British government, China legalized opium in 1858, hoping an eight percent tax would help solve financial woes. Using export data from India to China, Jeffrey A. Miron and Chris Feige find trends in Chinese opium consumption. They find that prohibition was not successful in reducing consumption.

Even if drugs were legalized, there is a high chance they still would continue to be sold illegally to minors who were unable to get the drug. Legalization of drugs would cause a rapid increase in the use of drugs and drug abuse, which could lead to negative social costs.


Countries in which legalization did not work. With the report of a government commission known as the Brain Committee of 1964, England instituted a policy whereby doctors could prescribe heroin so long as they followed certain treatment criteria. Previously in England, doctors could prescribe heroin much like any other opiate (such as morphine). This allowed a few unscrupulous doctors to sell ungodly amounts of heroin to members of the black market. Consequently, it was believed that if heroin were offered at medical clinics according to stringent rules and regulations, addicts would come to these clinics to seek treatment and eventually would overcome their habit. As of 1983, however, England began to phase out these programs of clinically supplied heroin in favor of methadone treatment. Why? First, according to the reputable British physician journal Lancet, the number of addicts increased 100% between 1970 and 1980. A disproportionate number of these new addicts were between the ages of sixteen and seventeen. Second, only twenty percent of all of the addicts in England belonged to the clinical programs. At first blush, this fact seems strange – why would addicts choose not to participate in a program wherein they get free methadone?

The answer probably lies in the fact that methadone does not produce the high that heroin does. Also, addicts probably did not care for the mandatory treatment and rehabilitation facets of the clinical programs. Whatever the reason, by 1985 England had 80,000 heroin addicts, the vast majority of whom wen not in treatment. A third reason why England began to abolish its clinical heroin program was the fact that not only were there few people, in them, but the programs themselves did not work.

According to theBritish Medical Journal, more addicts left the program because of criminal convictions than because of treatment. 54 Fourth, even with the clinical programs, heroin addicts had a death rate twenty-six times the average population. Finally, even when the programs were in operation, Scotland Yard had to increase its narcotics division 100% in order to cope with the increased crime rate. To summarize, the British experience with decriminalized heroin in the clinical context was a dismal failure.

When experts from British Columbia were debating whether to create a similar program, they made the following conclusions that are so important as to deserve to be quoted at length: While some success is claimed in terms of reducing the incidence of young users, the following findings have also been noted:

  1. The British approach has failed to attract a majority of addicts;
  2. Many registered addicts continue to turn to illicit sources of drugs;
  3. Many registered addicts do not decrease their dosage over time;
  4. Many registered addicts continue to be involved in criminal activity;
  5. Many registered addicts are chronically unemployed or do not earn enough to look after themselves
  6. The death rate of registered addicts is much higher than that of the general population and may be higher than that of North American addicts;
  7. Since 1960, there has been a dramatic increase in the English addict population;

The black market for heroin continues to thrive; Law enforcement appears to remain a necessary, costly and complex control measure. Japan In the 1950’s, Japan was faced with an epidemic of amphetamine use that created half a million addicts. Through socialization and policies aimed at both reducing supply and demand, the number of addicts was decreased to a few thousand within four years. A heroin epidemic involving thousands of addicts was dealt with successfully in the 1960’s using the same measures. If they say… Historically, countries that have legalized or decriminalized drugs have not been harmed.

Then you say… When opium was legal in China at the turn of the century, there were 90 million addicts, and it took China fifty years to eventually solve the problem. [Gabriel G. Nahas, “The Decline of Drugged Nations,” The Wall Street Journal, July 11, 1988]. In the 1950’s Japan had an epidemic of amphetamine addiction that it solved within four years by both police enforcement and rehabilitation. [Gabriel G. Nahas, citation above]. When Egypt allowed unrestricted trade of cocaine and heroin in the 1920’s, an epidemic of addiction resulted. Gabriel G. Nahas, citation above]. In Iran and Thailand, countries where drugs are readily available, the prevalence of addiction has been and continues to be exceptionally high. If they say… Experience in Great Britain shows that you can successfully decriminalize heroin so long as it is done in a clinically administered government program. Then you say… The addiction rates for heroin in Great Britain increased 100% in ten years, and many of the new addicts were children between the ages of sixteen and seventeen. Letter from John Lawn to Joseph E. DiGenova, U. S. Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, June 3, 1988 (citing British medical journal Lancet); Peggy Mann, “Reasons to Oppose Legalizing Illegal Drugs,” Drug Awareness Information Newsletter, September 1988. ] Only 20% of the addicts in Great Britain joined the clinical program offered by the government. [John S. Russell and Andre McNicoll, “The British Experience With Narcotic Dependency,” Province of British Columbia Ministry of Health, Alcohol and Drug Commission, April 1978].

More addicts left the British program because of criminal convictions than because of rehabilitation. [Letter of John Lawn, citation above (citing statement of the British Medical Journal)] . Heroin addicts in Britain had mortality rates 26 times higher than that of the average population. [Letter of John Lawn, citation above (citing statement of article published in The New Republic)]. Scotland Yard had to increase its narcotics squad 100% in order to combat the crime caused by the heroin addicts. [“Arguments Against Legalizing Drugs,” Drug Abuse Update, September 1988]. Why are drugs harmful.

Like many prescription drugs, “recreational” drugs come with potentially harmful side effects that can have serious and long-term effects on your health. High doses of many of the drugs, or impure or more dangerous subsitutes for these drugs, can cause immediate life-threatening health problems such as heart attack, respiratory failure, and coma. Combining drugs with each other or with alcohol is especially dangerous. Barbiturates and tranquilizers are commonly abused prescription drugs. They can cause hangover-like symptoms, nausea, seizures, and coma. Overdose or mixing these drugs with alcohol can be fatal. Cocaine can cause such long-term problems as tremors, seizures, psychosis, and heart or respiratory failure.

  • LSD can cause nausea, rapid heart rate, depression, and disorientation. Long-term effects include paranoia and psychosis.
  • Marijuana and hashish can cause rapid heart rate and memory impairment soon after use. Long-term effects include cognitive problems, infertility, weakened immune system, and possible lung damage. Narcotics such as heroin can bring on respiratory and circulatory depression, dizziness, impotence, constipation, and withdrawal sickness.
  • Overdoses can lead to seizures and death. PCP, in addition to triggering unpredictable and violent behavior, can cause dizziness, numbness, high heart rate and blood pressure, convulsions, and in high amounts fatal heart and lung failure or ruptured blood vessels.
  • Stimulants such as amphetamines have health effects that include high heart rate and blood pressure, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, impotence, skin disorders, tremors, seizures, and psychosis. They destroy lives and relationships and have an adverse effect on society
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