II. Constantly Strengthening Drug Control Legislation
China attaches great importance to the building of the legal system in drug control and persists in drug control according to law. In view of the drug rampancy over the past 20-odd years, China has speeded up legislation in drug control, and has formulated and promulgated a whole array of laws and regulations, thanks to which, great progress has been made in legal system building in this field.
Criminal legislation for drug control has improved step by step. On July 1, 1979, the Criminal Law of the PRC was adopted at the Second Session of the Fifth National People's Congress (NPC), which specified the crimes of manufacturing, trafficking and transporting drugs, and the relevant punishments. In the 1980s, the NPC Standing Committee issued, successively, the Customs Law of the PRC, the Regulations of the PRC on Administrative Penalties for Public Security, the Resolution on Severely Punishing Criminals Who Have Seriously Sabotaged the Economy, the Supplementary Regulations on Punishing Smuggling, and other laws, which formulated further regulations on punishing drug-related crimes and raised the highest legal punishment for serious drug-related crimes to the death penalty. On December 18, 1990, the 17th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Seventh NPC adopted the Decision on Drug Control, which included comprehensive regulations on the types of drug-related crimes and penalties, the punishments for drug addicts and compulsory drug addiction rehabilitation, and clearly specified China's universal jurisdiction over the crimes of smuggling, trafficking, transporting and manufacturing drugs.
On March 14, 1997, at the Fifth Session of the Eighth NPC, the Criminal Law of the PRC was revised. On the basis of absorbing and retaining the main contents of the Decision on Drug Control, the revised Criminal Law made important amendments and supplements to the legal regulations on drug-connected crimes, thus further improving China's criminal legislation in this regard. The Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate made relevant judicial interpretations of the revised Criminal Law.
Severely punishing drug-connected crimes is one of the outstanding characteristics of China's criminal legislation for drug control. The revised Criminal Law fully embodies this principle. First, the law comprehensively specifies the types of drug-related crimes, guaranteeing that various drug-related criminal offenses are punished by law. The law specifies 12 crimes, which cover the smuggling, trafficking, transporting and manufacturing of drugs, the illegal holding of drugs, the harboring, transferring and concealing of drugs and illicit drug-related money, the smuggling of materials for manufacturing drugs, the illegal trading in such materials, the illegal cultivation of mother plants of narcotic drugs, the illegal trading, transporting, hand-carrying and holding of seeds and seedlings of such plants, and the illegal provision of narcotics and psychotropic substances, as well as the criminal punishments for these crimes. In addition, the penalties for the laundering of drug-related money are stipulated. Second, the law specifies that the criminal responsibility of a person for smuggling, trafficking, transporting or manufacturing narcotic drugs, regardless of their quantity, be legally pursued and punished. The quantity of drugs shall be calculated according to the verified amount of the drugs smuggled, trafficked, transported, manufactured or illegally held, and not in terms of purity. Third, economic sanctions are applied against drug-related crimes. The law specifies that property shall be confiscated or a fine imposed for drug-related crimes, aiming at depriving drug criminals of their illegal income and destroying their economic ability to commit drug-related crimes again. Fourth, those who make use of or instigate minors to smuggle, sell, transport or manufacture drugs, sell drugs to minors, or lure, instigate, deceive or force them into taking or injecting drugs, and those who have again committed drug-related crimes after having already been convicted of the crime of smuggling, selling, transporting, manufacturing or illegally holding drugs shall be punished with severity. Fifth, criminals who smuggle, sell, transport or manufacture large amounts of drugs shall be sentenced to death. The fact that China legislatively punishes drug-connected crimes with severity is required by the reality of the anti-drug struggle, and shows China's stand for strict drug control.
Strict administration to prevent the abuse of narcotics and psychotropic substances is a very important content of the building of China's anti-drug legal system. Hence China has promulgated more than 30 relevant laws, statutes and regulations. In September 1984, the seventh meeting of the Standing Committee of the Sixth NPC adopted the Law of the PRC on the Management of Medicines and Chemical Reagents. Article 39 of the Law specifies: The state adopts special procedures for the administration of narcotics and psychotropic substances. In 1987 and 1988, the State Council promulgated the Procedures for Narcotic Drug Control, and the Procedures for Psychotropic Substances Control, which specify clearly the administration of the production, supply, transportation, use, import and export of narcotics and psychotropic substances. In 1995, the State Council promulgated the Procedures for Compulsory Drug Addiction Rehabilitation, and the Ministry of Health issued the Procedures for the Administration of Pharmaceuticals for Drug Addiction Treatment. Hence the work in this regard has laws to follow.
To prevent precursor chemicals diverting into illegal channels, and crack down on relevant illegal or criminal activities, Chinese legislative bodies and the Chinese government have also issued a series of laws and regulations for the strict control of such chemicals. The Criminal Law of the PRC, the Customs Law of the PRC, and the Decision on Drug Control made by the NPC Standing Committee include stern penalties for the criminal offenses of illegally trading and smuggling precursor chemicals, ephedrine and other raw materials and ingredients intended to be processed into drugs.
In addition, the legislative organs of Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Guangdong, Gansu, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang and Jiangsu provinces, and the Guangxi Zhuang and Ningxia Hui autonomous regions have worked out local drug control statutes in accordance with local conditions.
At present, China has formed a preliminary anti-drug legal system with criminal laws as the mainstay, and administrative and local statutes as supplements, thus providing powerful legal weapons for the anti-drug struggle.