China Bans Drug-Using Actors From TV And Film

By McCarton Ackerman 10/13/14

President Xi Jingping has cracked down hard against illegal drugs in recent months

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China is continuing its widespread crackdown on drug use by targeting the country’s film and television industry, banning movies and TV shows featuring actors who have reportedly used illegal substances.

The new regulations made by the socialist country stem from President Xi Jingping’s order last June to “strike hard” against illegal drugs. Government officials have claimed that the drug use of some Chinese celebrities creating a “detrimental influence on the development of young people” which has “corrupted the social atmosphere.” Forty performing arts organizations throughout Beijing have since signed agreements with municipal police to not hire any performers “involved with drugs.”

Nine celebrities were detained for various drug offenses earlier this year, including reality TV star Li Daimo, who was sentenced to nine months in prison for reportedly hosting crystal meth parties at his apartment. Actor Gao Hu was detained earlier this month for possession of marijuana and methamphetamines, while Jackie Chan’s son, Jaycee, was arrested last month after he was found smoking marijuana in his Beijing apartment and allegedly using his home as a “shelter” for others to do drugs.

Administrative detention for a maximum of 15 days is the standard sentence for first-time offenders. However, those who are deemed addicts by police can then be forced to undergo compulsory rehab for up to three years. The conditions in these compulsory treatment centers have been reported as being worse than prison; a Health and Human Rights investigation from last year found that people were routinely subject to “torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” that included forced labor, beatings, and solitary confinement.

It’s unclear how many Chinese citizens are in these facilities, but nearly 400,000 people were sentenced for drug offenses in the first months of this year. Approximately 9,000 of those people were sentenced to either death or at least five years behind bars.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.