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27 July


Hong Kong accused Canada of promoting and supplying marijuana

Объем ввозимых в город наркотиков увеличилось в 500 раз

Photo: AFP

/NOVOSTIVL/ The amount of marijuana seized on entry to Hong Kong has increased 500 per cent from 2018, equalling nearly all of last year’s total in the first three months of this year alone. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post.

Law enforcement officials said on Wednesday that the boom in illegal cannabis stems from Canada’s move to legalise the sale and recreational use of the drug in October last year. Since then, officials said, Hong Kong had seen a wave of marijuana parcels airmailed from North America and camouflaged as food.

Anti-drug sources said the legalisation in Canada had given some Hongkongers the perception that marijuana was less harmful than other illicit drugs, creating a curiositythat led to greater demand in the city.

The latest figures from the Customs and Excise Department showed that 137kg of cannabis – with an estimated street value of more than HK$30 million (US$3.8 million) – was confiscated by customs officers in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 500 per cent compared with 22.7kg in the same period last year. Customs officers confiscated a total of 141kg of cannabis in all of 2018.

According to customs officials, the most common method of concealment is to "camouflage the drugs as foodstuffs, like raisins and dried fruits".