Harold and Kumar Go to… China?

There is a rising marijuana problem in China, and according to the deputy director of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, it’s all our fault.

In a press conference in Beijing on Monday, Liu Yuejin bemoaned the rising marijuana problem in his country. The number of cannabis users in China spiked by more than 25 percent in 2018, rising to about 24,000 people. (In a country of well over a billion, that seems like a fairly minor problem. But we’ll mind our own business).

Liu knows who to blame, though: those filthy, weed-smoking Americans! American potheads traveling abroad are the culprit, as far as he’s concerned. But is he telling the truth?

“…You Meddling Kids!”

According to Liu, the increasing legalization of cannabis in North America has led to more of the contraband coming across Chinese borders. China intercepted “55 kilograms of cannabis and cannabis products” coming into the country from North America in 2018.

The primary culprit in these busts were college students. Both students who were traveling abroad from North America and those returning to their native China from working overseas are culpable.

If you’re thinking of smuggling some of the devil’s lettuce into the Red Dragon, think again. While it’s no surprise that China cracks down on foreign wrongdoers, this will shock you: anyone caught carrying 50 grams or more is subject to the death penalty.

Truth or Politics

The question remains whether these comments are as much about spreading truth as they are about political posturing. Tensions are running high (no pun intended) between the U.S. and China lately, and drugs have been on the battlefield before. In August of 2018, Trump tagged China as the source of much of the U.S. supply of fentanyl. That would make them responsible for much of the opioid crisis.

It can’t be certain whether China is telling the truth or biting back at Trump. What is certain is that if they’re willing to execute college students for 50 grams of cannabis, they need to relax. If only there was something they could use to help them do that…