China arrests 168,000 for drug-related crimes in 2016 / Xinhua
China’s National Narcotics Control Commission said on Wednesday that police arrested 168,000 suspects for drug production or trafficking in 2016. They also seized 82.1 tonnes of drugs, including heroin, methamphetamines, and ketamine. The Commission says that the country has over 1 million drug addicts, with 357,000 people successfully treated for addiction in 2016, but that the spread of drug-related crimes had been “effectively contained.”
Earlier this week, the China Daily reported on a development “that echoes TV’s Breaking Bad” in which “some Chinese chemistry professionals have begun producing and selling illegal substances,” noting that the most abused illegal drug in China is methamphetamine, often called “ice.” Police say that the average street price for ice in 2015 was 500 to 1,000 yuan ($70 to $140) per gram (0.35 oz.). The report also says that a growing problem is the production of new psychoactive substances, or designer drugs, that are not yet regulated. These include methcathinone and a variety of substances listed by the China Daily here. Some of the newer drugs, including the elephant tranquilizer carfentanil, which has become a serious problem in the U.S., have already been added to China’s controlled substance list.
If you have not yet heard it, you can listen to a Sinica Podcast interview with an American who spent seven months in a Beijing detention center, accused of dealing in marijuana.
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