To commemorate the 170th anniversary of the Humen Opium Destruction, Beijing police yesterday destroyed 393 kg of banned substances seized in China from 2006 through 2008 – and that’s only half of the stash that’s been collected.
The burning took place in a northwestern surburban area outside of Beijing, where police officers threw the illegal substances into an industrial furnace. And it must have been one trippy bonfire – UPI report that the drugs seized included “4.4 tons of heroin, 6.2 tons of “ice,” 1 million “ecstasy” pills, 5.3 tons of ketamine, 2.2 tons of marijuana, 1.4 tons of opium and almost a ton of cocaine.” We hope no one got too close – that sounds like it would give people a killer contact high.
The Humen Opium Destruction is recognized as China’s first battle against drugs, when Lin Zexu, a senior official of the Qing Dynasty, ordered the burning of 1,000 tons of opium brought into China by foreign dealers in Humen, Guangdong Province in 1839.
Drug trafficking has been a rampant problem for China, with international drug traffickers penetrating the Beijing drug scene by taking to unconventional methods. What’s more, the number of drug addicts has been on the rise in Shanghai, despite the Anti-Drug Law that was passed on June 1 last year. Zhou Weihang, the director of Shanghai’s anti-drug office reports that the number of drug users in the city is increasing at a rate of 20 percent annually.