Date
28 July 2017
A Jilin official burns the drugs, without wearing a protective mask or covering his nose. Photo: CNSA
A Jilin official burns the drugs, without wearing a protective mask or covering his nose. Photo: CNSA

Jilin officials set fire to cannabis, opium amid huge crowd

How do you destroy prohibited drugs like cannabis and opium?

The common practice is for law enforcers to use chemicals to decompose the active substances of the drugs.

However, in northern China’s Jilin province, police officers resorted to an unorthodox method of getting rid of the drugs: They set them on fire, according to a report by the official China News Service on Wednesday.

As to be expected, the burning of the drugs, a huge haul seized by the local authorities from drug syndicates, produced a lot of smoke and hazardous gases.

Many in the crowd of around 3,000 people who gathered to watch the program scampered to safety while others used fans and covered their noses.

The destroyed drugs, weighing around 170 kg., included cannabis, opium and heroin.

The news went viral on social media. Some netizens mocked the police officials for taking prohibited drugs in public, while others said no harm was done because the drugs were fake.

The report did not say if any of the officials and guests were affected by the drug burning.

In 1839, Lin Zexu, a Guangdong official in the Qing Dynasty, confiscated opium from traders and destroyed the drugs by soaking them in water treated with calcium oxide, commonly known as burnt lime.

Apparently, some of China’s present-day officials were not aware of what was common knowledge almost two centuries ago.

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CH/JP/CG

The drugs, weighing around 170 kg., included cannabis, opium and heroin. Photo: CNSA


Over 3,000 people watch as Jilin officials burn the seized drugs. Photo:CNSA


People start running away from the smoke. Photo: CNSA


EJ Insight intern reporter

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