fbpx Hong Kong teens are importing cannabis products at alarming rates

Hong Kong teens are importing cannabis products at alarming rates

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Customs officials in Hong Kong are sounding the alarm about teenagers importing cannabis and cannabis products into the country, reports South China Morning Post.

Over the past four months, several teens have been arrested in connection to HK$45 million ($7.6 million) worth of illicit drugs that were brought into the country by air.

By weight, 380 kilograms of drugs have been seized over the past four months, which is a 211 per cent increase from the first half of the year, a senior customs official told SCMP.

During that same time period, five secondary students, aged 15 to 17, have been arrested. Custom officials posed a couriers and made deliveries to the teens, who were arrested after allegedly collecting the illicit parcels.

Acting senior superintendent Rita Li Yim-ping of the department’s syndicate crimes investigation unit called the trend “worrying.”

“Some claimed they were helping friends collect [the parcels], while others received monetary rewards,” she said, adding that the amount of drugs seized so far his year has already doubles last year’s seizures.

Assistant Superintendent Yuen Wai-ming of customs’ airport command told the paper that nearly 90 per cent of the seizure’s this year have originated from Canada and the United States.

Last year, custom officials also noted a spike in cannabis coming into the country and pointed a finger at Canada for an alleged 500 per cent increase in cannabis seizures. By legalizing the plant, critics argued Canada had changed the public perception of cannabis in Hong Kong.

Officials recently issued an alert reminding Hong Kong residents that they should not agree to  receive mailed goods for others and that they should pat attention to ingredients before ordering products online.

According to custom officials the majority of drugs seized were cannabis buds, followed by herbal cannabis and cannabis products.

Though drug crimes in Hong Kong carry severe penalties, including the possibility of life imprisonment, the tide may be starting to turn, however slowly.

Earlier this year, the country’s first CBD cafe opened, selling customers a variety of drinks and snacks infused with cannabidiol.

“Hong Kong is actually one of Asia’s most progressive cannabinoid markets,” said co-founder Fiachra Mullen. “Unlike other parts of the region — Australia, New Zealand, Singapore — it’s actually quite a progressive cannabinoid law in Hong Kong, so we can sell most cannabinoids in Hong Kong as foods as long as we don’t have any THC in the products.”

In 1994, two of the country’s top judges recommended decriminalizing pot but received little support.

“Cannabis use is now so widespread that [keeping it illegal] makes people think the law is an ass,” High court Justice Kaplan said at the time. ”I am in favour of its decriminalisation. Otherwise, good citizens find themselves on the wrong side of the law and are alienated.”

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