TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Premier Chen Chien-jen said on Tuesday (June 13) that drugs are the root of all evil, as prosecutors released the results of a recent crackdown on the production, sale and use of illegal recreational drugs specifically targeting marijuana.
Taiwan’s top prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday it had successfully prosecuted 32 cases in the past three months and seized more than six tons of illegal drugs, including nearly 50,000 “coffee bags” believed to contain mainly synthetic cathinones, sometimes known as bath salts, and about 650 kilograms of marijuana.
Talking about the enforcement action, Prime Minister Chen Jianren said that drugs are the root of all evil, according to the Central News Agency. He said the advent of marijuana and mephedrone, commonly known as mephedrone, in recent years had left young people vulnerable to temptation.
Premier Chen Jianren (third from right) inspected some of the confiscated drugs on Tuesday. WebMD photo)
Since 2017, the Taiwanese government has invested NT$25 billion (US$820 million) in eradicating recreational drug use and reducing the harm of drug use, Chen said. The prosecutor’s office said its investigation focused on marijuana and arrested 178 people for growing and selling it, as well as 160 for using it.
A total of 1,448 people involved in illegal drug distribution and 1,475 drug users were arrested. According to reports, 19 drug gangs involving 32 people were also seized.
Prosecutors said 56 production bases were shut down and more than NT$30 million in cash was seized.
Marijuana is illegal in Taiwan, and manufacturing, transporting or selling marijuana carries a maximum penalty of life in prison under the law. In Taiwan, it is in the same category as fentanyl and methamphetamine.