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Chronicle of anti-drug events of China (2)

(People's Daily Online)

17:33, January 13, 2013

In 1729, Chinese government promulgated a decree banning on the sale of opium and establishment of opium smoking houses and announced the "Regulations on Banning Opium Smoking." This was the world's first anti-drug order and penal statute. According to the "Regulations on Banning Opium Smoking," the opium traffickers will be forced to wear shackles and expose to the public for one month in the light of the punishment of illegal goods purchasers, and sent into exile. Those running an opium smoking house and inducing others to smoke opium will be sentenced to be hanged, imprisoned or bludgeoned 100 times before being exiled to 3,000 miles away, and the related boatmen, local constables and neighbors will be bludgeoned 100 times and sentenced to three years' imprisonment. The soldiers who extort bribes from opium transaction will be punished for perverting justice for a bribe and the officials and customs officers who neglect their duties will also be punished strictly by the ministry of penalty.

However, the British simply ignored it and became crazier than the Portuguese in opium smuggling.

In 1757, the British East India Company occupied Bengal of India and turned Bengal into a huge workshop of opium. Since then, the British East India Company smuggled 1,000 boxes of opium to China every year, becoming the trafficker smuggling the most opium to China.

In 1786, the British East India Company smuggled over 2,000 boxes of opium to China.

In 1796, Emperor Jiaqing of Qing dynasty ordered prohibiting transportation of opium to China, meanwhile forbidding planting poppy and removing opium out of the tariff.

In 1813, Emperor Jiaqing ordered the ministry of penalty to draft the "Ordinance on Punishing Opium Addicts," setting up different sentencing criterion according to the identities of opium addicts: The officials who buy and smoke opium will be punished as a gamester to be removed from office, bludgeoned 100 times and exposed to the public for one month. The measure opened up another important field of banning on opium-smoking and opium trade in China. It was the first time to prohibit opium taking in the history of China, creating a precedent of using criminal penalty to punish the drug addicts.

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