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It sounds like something out of a dystopian book: music-lovers at Beijing bars were detained and forced to submit to urine drug tests by police. Some folks who failed the tests were dragged away to face steep penalties. Reportedly, the crackdown occurred across the city in many bars. Both Chinese citizens and expats living in China were tested and arrested.
One of the people arrested in this most recent case is a big name: Jaycee Chan.
He’s Jackie Chan’s son. Right now, however, he’s playing the part of “inmate number four” in a prison system known for executing folks for non-violent drug crimes in order to make a strong public statement against drugs, including cannabis.
Jaycee Chan (whose real name is Fang Zuming) was arrested after testing positive for cannabis, as was a friend of his. Police reportedly found 100 grams of cannabis at his residence during a later search. The Chinese government isn’t always transparent, so at this time, much of the discussion of Jaycee Chan’s situation is speculation. At this time, it appears the charges he faces may be related to allowing others to use drugs at his home, as opposed to related to his possession of cannabis.
His father has reportedly flown to Beijing to meet with him. Jackie Chan isn’t just an actor; he is also a politician. Specifically, he’s an anti-drug ambassador who’s internationally known. In this case, it’s less likely to kelp Jaycee receive a mild punishment and more likely to open his case up for extreme scrutiny. The Chinese government is quick to avoid any perception of corruption or nepotism.
In randomly drug testing bar patrons, the Chinese government has taken its War on Drugs to a new level. While prohibition seems to be losing ground here in the United States, it is still firmly entrenched in many other countries, often due to our government’s past vehemence about its own failed War on Drugs. Jaycee Chan should be worried.
It’s likely, however, that he will only serve jail time, with estimates ranging from a few months to several years. Only time will tell what charges are actually levied against him and how things proceed from there. For now, Chan is somewhere no one wants to be: Chinese prison.
For previous Ladybud articles about the impact of cannabis prohibition, click here!