America vs. China: Drugs

February 11th, 2015
in Op Ed, syndication

Written by

I am fiscally conservative, socially moderate. So for many social issues (e.g. abortion and gay marriage), I keep my opinions to myself. But the recent development in legalizing drugs in America (Medical marijuana: Will Colorado's "green rush" last?) concerns me deeply. It's time to add my two cents worth with a simple but strong message: opium nearly killed China some 150 years ago; legalizing drugs may destroy America!

Follow up:

1. History of opium in China

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia - History of opium in China:

The history of opium in China begins with the use of opium for medicinal purposes during the 7th century. It was not until the 17th century that the practice of mixing opium with tobacco for smoking spread from Southeast Asia, creating a far greater demand.[1]

2. Two Opium Wars

China fought and lost two wars against the British over opium, with far reaching and lasting destruction to China each time.

2.1 The First Opium War

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia- First Opium War:

In 1839, the Daoguang emperor, rejecting proposals to legalize and tax opium, appointed Lin Zexu to solve the problem by abolishing the trade. Lin confiscated around 20,000 chests of opium (approximately 1210 tons or 2.66 million pounds) without offering compensation, blockaded trade, and confined foreign merchants to their quarters.[4] The British government, although not officially denying China's right to control imports of the drug, objected to this arbitrary seizure and used its naval and gunnery power to inflict quick and decisive defeat.[3]

2.2 The Second Opium War

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia- Second Opium War:

The Second Opium War, the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China,[1] was a war pitting the British Empire and the Second French Empire against the Qing Dynasty of China, lasting from 1856 to 1860. It was fought over similar issues as the First Opium War.

3. History of drugs in America

Here is an excerpt from History of Drugs in America:

Drugs have made a major impact on American history since the founding of the first English colony at Jamestown in 1607. Even as drugs, legal and otherwise, have contributed to the growth of the nation's economy, Americans have struggled to find policies that limit drugs' negative effects on society without generating negative side-effects of their own.

Drug use in America has been increasingly more deadly over the past few decades, as shown by the chart below:

4. America's war on drugs

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia - War on Drugs:

Although Nixon declared "drug abuse" to be public enemy number one in 1971,[15] the policies that his administration implemented as part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 were a continuation of drug prohibition policies in the U.S., which started in 1914.[16][17] Less well-known today is that the Nixon Administration also repealed the federal 2 - ;10-year mandatory minimum sentences for possession of marijuana and started federal demand reduction programs and drug-treatment programs. Robert DuPont, the "Drug czar" in the Nixon Administration, stated it would be more accurate to say that Nixon ended, rather than launched, the "war on drugs". DuPont also argued that it was the proponents of drug legalization that popularized the term "war on drugs".[12][unreliable source?]

Overall, the war on drugs has failed, as shown by the chart below:

5. China vs. America

Here is a simple table comparing China with America in drug use from five perspectives:

Drug use



How did it start?

Medical use

Medical use

Worst period?



#1 in world economy throughout the period?



Decline in power throughout the period?



Under control now?




As an example, China is much more comparable to America than the Netherlands, where drugs have already been legalized (Drug policy of the Netherlands). In other words, the Netherlands is irrelevant to America just as Singapore is irrelevant to China (Lee Kuan Yew): size matters!

6. Discussion

Did opium kill China? No!

Did opium contribute to China's steep decline throughout the 19th century? Yes, hugely! More specifically, China's Century of Humiliation was due to two main factors:

  1. Self-destruction, thanks to China's outdated political system: feudalism!

  2. Foreign invasions, initiated by the British via the First Opium War.

Will America be destroyed by drugs without legalizing them? Perhaps not!

Have drugs significantly contributed to America's steep decline? No, not yet!

Will the legalization of drugs significantly contribute to America's steep decline in the coming decades? Yes! Why and how? Aside from numbing adults and destroying their lives, drugs will hurt our children, in a fashion worse than guns. In other words, even with so many laws and restrictions, we have been unable to prevent guns from falling into the hands of our children. How can we possibly prevent drugs from having greater availability than they have now?

7. Closing

Drugs are a big problem for many countries. Each must arrive at its own solution. Here is one certainty for America: legalization is not the solution! In my opinion, legalization of drugs may even destroy America, or at least assist in our decline!

Do not legalize drugs - you have been forewarned, America!

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