China is defending itself against accusations that the opioid epidemic here in the U.S. is partially to blame on them for their exports of carfentanil. The opioid crisis in the United States has become an almost unbelievable problem and China is pushing some of the blame on our relaxed drug culture.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 90 Americans die everyday from opioid overdoses. There are many sources to the problem, including pharmaceutical companies like Insys Therapeutics. China though is suggesting that a large part of the problem has to do with our relaxed drug culture, including legalized recreational marijuana.
Yu Haibin of the China National Narcotics Control Commission told reporters there was little evidence showing China was the source of much of the chemicals used in the production of the powerful opioid fentanyl. President Donald Trump in November blamed a “flood of cheap and deadly” fentanyl made in China for the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history.
In October 2016, the AP identified 12 Chinese companies willing to export carfentanil around the world for a few thousand dollars a kilogram (2.2. pounds), no questions asked. Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than fentanyl and is legally used as an anesthetic for elephants and other large animals.
Yu urged the U.S. to share more data and police intelligence with Chinese authorities and said rampant over-prescription of pain medication and lax cultural attitudes toward drugs had fueled massive demand for opioids in the U.S.
Insufficient drug education and the trend in some states of legalizing marijuana have hurt drug enforcement efforts, he said.
“As many states decriminalize marijuana, the public’s attitudes and trends of thinking toward drugs will also have a bad effect” on the fight against hard drugs, Yu said.
Since 2016, China has arrested dozens of synthetic drug exporters, destroyed several illegal labs and seized tons of new psychoactive substances, according to the Office of the National Narcotics Control Committee.
There are statistics suggesting that legalized marijuana is actually helping to reduce opioid addiction and deaths caused by overdoses. Do you think that China is partially blaming the legalization of marijuana and a relaxed drug culture for the opioid crisis because of their own culture?
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