East Asia

Growing cannabis seizures in 'drug-free' South Korea

Posted on July 6th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

KoreaAuthorities in South Korea have long boasted that the country is "drug free," but that fiction is getting harder to maintain. Korea JoongAang Daily on July 6 reports that the amount of drugs seized by customs agents in the Republic of Korea jumped significantly in the first half of this year. The Customs Service said it seized 27.5 kilograms (60.6 pounds) of drugs worth 41.3 billion won ($35.9 million) in the first six months of 2017.

Hong Kong cannabis interceptions soaring

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Hong KongCannabis seizures are rapidly escalating in Hong Kong—whether due to greater quantities on the market or stepped-up enforcement, or both. The city's South China Morning Post reports June 19 on a haul of 35 kilos in 136 baggies ready for sale, uncovered in a vehicle during a police raid on a car park. Three were arrested. Police estimated the street value of the load at HK$10 million (about US$1.3 million). As recently as May 27, the SCMP reported a police raid on an industrial building in the city's Tai Po district that netted 110 kilos, worth HK$19 million. (Obviously, the math is not adding up here, raising questions about how the Hong Kong cops arrive at their estimates.)

Does North Korea have a more tolerant cannabis policy than South?

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

KoreaWell, absolutely not, but you could be forgiven for thinking so, based on a cursory review of recent headlines.

Although it hasn't made much of a splash stateside, the big news in the South this week is the "marijuana scandal" surrounding a singer from the suggestively named K-pop boy-band Big Bang, who goes by the stage-name T.O.P.

China launches first CBD research firm

Posted on March 20th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

ChinaChina is to get its first company dedicated to research, development and marketing of medicinal products based on cannabidiol, or CBD. The firm, dubbed XiBiDi Biotechnology Co, is to operate out of Pudong Technology Park, part of the Shanghai Pilot Free-Trade Zone. It will initially offer hemp-derived CBD oil, as well as hemp-based foods and beverages, according to a press release from ChineseInvestors.com, or CIIX. The Chinese character "XiBiDi" is homophonic to "CBD" in English.

Giving new meaning to the word 'bust'

Posted on February 18th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

OceaniaAustralian police on Feb. 15 announced the seizure of 720 liters of liquid methamphetamine with an estimated street value of A$1 billion (about US$700 million)—hidden in gel bra inserts. The laundered bra shipment, which also included art supplies similarly used to hide the meth, were found in a storage unit in Sydney. Four were charged: three men from Hong Kong and a Chinese national. The joint operation involved the Federal Police, New South Wales police and Australian Border Force. "This has resulted in 3.6m individual hits of ice being taken off our streets," boasted NSW Justice Minister Michael Keenan. Officials said the operation began in December when Border Force examined a shipping container that had arrived from Hong Kong.

Cannabis legal in North Korea? Don't believe the hype

Posted on October 12th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

DPRKHere we go again. The Weed Blog was last week the latest to repeat the urban legend that cannabis is legal in North Korea. Earlier this year, the same click-bait nonsense was heard on a YouTube video produced by TopTrending.com. The mis-informed line goes like this (in the Weed Blog's gushy prose): "North Korea doesn’t consider marijuana a drug at all, and is completely legal in the country. [Sic] That's right. I can repeat that: marijuana is completely legal in the country of North Korea." You can repeat it all you want, but that doesn't make it true. It's an absurd irony that probably the most cannabis-unfriendly country on Earth has won a rep as a free zone where the stuff is legal. How did this all get started?

China moves to restrict death penalty —but not for drugs

Posted on September 15th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

ChinaUnited Nations human rights experts on Sept. 11 welcomed a recommendation to abolish the death penalty by India, as well as a decision to reduce the number of crimes subject to the death penalty in the world's top executioner by far: China.  The better news was that concerning India—which has thousands on death row, but has only carried out four executions so far this century (AP, July 29).

China: officialdom hypes drug scare

Posted on May 12th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

ChinaHong Kong's South China Morning Post reports May 12 that Chinese authorities are warning of a rapid rise in abuse of synthetic drugs. The number of "registered abusers" of synthetic drugs—a whopping 1.46 million who get high on methamphetamine, ketamine and ecstasy—for the first time overtook that of registered heroin addicts last year, according to the National Narcotics Control Commission. In total, there were said to be 2.95 million registered abusers of all drugs, but the NNCC estimated the real figure—including those not registered—was over 14 million. NNCC deputy chief Liu Yuejin said cross-border trafficking was also rising because of the increasing demand for drugs in the People's Republic—but also that internal production is rising, wth drug laboratories shifting from coastal areas to inland provinces.

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