U.S. Marijuana Legalization Baffles China

While much of the world implements a new dawn for cannabis reform, China remains baffled at the process of legalization.

China Daily reports that many citizens of their nation who have visited the United States in the last four years are completely perplexed at the dramatic shift in marijuana policy from decades past. The contrast is rooted in the fact that most of the Chinese people still equate marijuana with opium. That highly addictive substance was the cause of two major wars in the mid-nineteenth century when the British and French empires forcibly legalized the opium trade.

The East India Company steamship Nemesis (right background) destroying Chinese war junks during the Second Battle of Chuenpi, 7 January 1841.

The East India Company steamship Nemesis (right background) destroying Chinese war junks during the Second Battle of Chuenpi, 7 January 1841.

The report added that the debate regarding marijuana reform, particularly in the U.S., is being watched closely by China. Discussions of cannabis were very prevalent in the Chinese nation back in 2014 when American-born Jaycee Chan Jo-Ming, son of action star Jackie Chan, was arrested with three ounces of weed in his Hong Kong apartment. Chan Jo-Ming went to prison for six months and was released in February of 2015 after making a public apology.

Jaycee Chan Jo-Ming

Jaycee Chan Jo-Ming

Because marijuana propaganda in China puts pot in the same category as opium, a mistake that many in the Western world made until recent decades, legalization in China is very unlikely anytime soon. Nevertheless, baby steps are being made.

A recent press release by FinancialBuzz.com revealed that a website for investors in the U.S. and China markets, ChineseInvestors.com, is launching the world’s first online Chinese-language store for CBD oil. The offices for the website will be based in Shanghai and the online market will focus exclusively on wholesale and retail sales of the oil to the nearly two billion Chinese people all over the world.

“We believe it is a wise move to have www.ChineseCBDoil.com located in Shanghai, China. [We] are very excited to be the world’s first listed Chinese company promoting CBD health products that will help Chinese people improve their health status,” said CEO of ChineseInvestors.com Warren Wang in the press release.

Wang went on to add that they have also recently completed a “Yelp-style” cannabis mobile app that will allow Mandarin speakers to review and discuss various marijuana-related products.

These recent technological announcements may not bring cannabis reform to China overnight, but they can spark discussion and support for the seemingly endless health benefits marijuana can provide. At the very least, it shows that although China may not understand the reasons to end cannabis prohibition, they are clearly open to profiting from it.

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