Chinese legislators have decided to go the route of most nations by passing the nation’s first law which makes use of drugs an illegal activity. The bill says owners and managers of discos, bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues are responsible to report drug takers to the police or face punishment. Police are authorized to search people and their luggage for illegal drugs at key public places such as train stations, long-distance bus stations and border crossings. The law does allow drug users to undergo recovery programs within their own communities rather than being imprisoned. Among the drugs listed in the law are opium, heroin, and marijuana.
Making drug use an illegal activity is a sure-fire way to increase the number of people residing in jails. China has an opportunity to go in a direction other than the American model which emphasizes punishment rather than assistance to those using drugs. This particular law which places responsibility on owners of establishments opens a pandora’s box of corruption as these individuals will soon be engaging in illegal payments to police in order to avoid being arrested. China, welcome to the world of jails and corruption.