Hong Kong’s commissioner for narcotics has attributed a 50 per cent surge in young people using cannabis to users thinking the drug is not harmful because of legalisation overseas. Reports The South China Morning Post reports.
Despite a 17 per cent reduction last year in the overall number of drug abusers in the city compared with 2018, the tally for cannabis was on the rise, according to the Action Committee Against Narcotics, which advises the government on drugs policy.
In 2019, 506 Hongkongers were taking the recreational drug, up 5 per cent on the previous year, according to the figures published on Monday. Of them, 228 were aged under 21, a 48 per cent rise from the 154 cases recorded in 2018.
Commissioner for Narcotics Ivy Law Chui-mei associated the increase with changes to the drug’s legal status abroad.
“Some overseas jurisdictions have legalised the recreational use of cannabis in recent years,” she said. “Products containing cannabis in different forms are available for sale in the local shops or online stores in these jurisdictions. Members of the public, especially young people, may have the misconception that cannabis is not harmful.”