Beijing has done some things that others may consider crazy, but have you heard about their version of War on Drugs?
In the United States, there is continued documentation that Blacks are more likely to be arrested and jailed for their use of drugs, over Whites-even when statistics show that Whites are more likely to use them. This is probably caused by police generally only searching for drug activity in low-income area… but what sort of message does this send?
You may remember Robert Downey Jr (yes, Ironman) finally being sentenced to prison in 1999 after repeatedly violating parole after being convicted for possession of heroin, cocaine and a firearm (in 1996); however, it was a long struggle to get him there. Were he black and not famous, he probably would have ended up in jail sooner…or shot because of the firearm.
But then there is China. They are working attempting to find a solution that is diametrically opposed to how we in the United States have been attempting (failing?) to solve the problem…and would probably upset a majority of the citizens in the United States. China is going after famous people-to make a statement.
On August 14, Chinese police arrested Jackie Chan’s son, Jaycee Chan, and a Taiwanese actor (among other people at the drug bust). And they continue to look forward to arresting more famous people. According to the article, “in the past couple of months, 11 celebrities” have been arrested for drug use… but that’s not where it ends. In China, the police send those arrested for drugs to detention centers for detox. And should that person be considered an addict their mandatory “stay” goes from 15 days to three years. With an additional three years for “community rehabilitation”. There is no jury trial, as the cops have found these criminals with drugs or drugs in their system and there is no need to “prove it” before a judge. The Taiwanese actor was released on 29 Aug; however Jackie Chan’s son remains in detention. Since January, 8,400 individuals have been detained.
On top of being detained, these individuals are then registered in a database where police can come back at any time to verify if they are or are not using drugs. There’s an example cited that talks about a man, who hadn’t used (been arrested for) drugs for 10 years, who checked into a hotel and around 3am in the morning, police barged in to the room and forced him to do a urine test and subjected him to questioning. Could you imagine this being used as “probable cause” to re-arrest someone to conduct a urine check to determine if the person does or does not have drugs in his or her system?
Is this a violation of privacy or sending a strong enough message that people shouldn’t use drugs?