Do people in China smoke weed? Is it legal? Is it against their religion?
Well, given that it is treated like any other drug and there is a mandatory death penalty for trafficing and stiff prison sentences for possession…
I don’t know how popular it is in modern China, but contents of a 2500-year-old tomb show that it was part of Chinese culture in the distant past.
Makes a couple old sayings more interesting…
“I wouldn’t do it for all the weed in China!”
“What’s that have to do with the cost of weed in China?”
I recall walking in downtown Kungming about 12 years ago and going into a nice restaurant that featured brick-oven pizza. They had a planter box full of pot, outside on the street, just like you would have for daises or something. I was told the local police didn’t really understand what was growing there…
While you could find the stuff in some cafes on the backpacker trail, the use of possession was a very serious crime. In my experience, Chinese people understood that the penalties were very harsh and overwhelmingly would say that they wanted nothing to do with the stuff.
Here’s an interesting thread at a different forum. (thank you Google)
Being a health-conscious people, most Chinese aren’t stupid enough to smoke weed, they use a vapouriser instead. It is strictly forbidden to export cannabis as domestic production is dangerously low, there’s barely even enough for the regular folk rituals sacred to every true Chinese.
It’s not common, but it’s not unheard of either. Most straight laced people don’t differentiate between drugs, so in a lot of people’s minds it is as serious as heroin, which means there aren’t a ton of casual “normal” users. But you will find users on college campuses and in big cities.
Weed grows wild in some parts of China. The police do a lot of supplying, since they often keep and sell the products they confiscate in busts. Most of what you find will be hash. There is a strong belief that Africans control the drug trade, but I imagine much of this is that is racism and good old fashioned “Of course Chinese people aren’t doing bad things! Foreigners must be causing the problem!”
Because there isn’t a huge smoking culture, users often smoke fairly openly. Your average Joe isn’t going to know what it is, and is likely to assume it’s a smelly cigarette or something. There are also establishments catering to tourists that sell fairly openly (as in, you can buy a joint at the bar.) In general, the police aren’t too worried about what tourists do as long as they are not “corrupting” Chinese people or causing trouble. The average police officier often feels like anything involving a foreigner is going to end up being more trouble than it’s worth. Of course, I wouldn’t advise anyone to go break Chinese law- these things can change on a whim, and China is known for sudden random crackdowns on random stuff.