China announced on Monday that it would ban all variants of the powerful opioid fentanyl, a move that could slow the supply of a drug that in recent years has caused tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the United States.
China already treats more than two dozen variants of fentanyl and its precursors as controlled substances, thus strictly regulating their production and distribution, but it has banned those variants only after reviewing them case by case, a process that can be lengthy. And because so many more variants exist, and new ones are constantly being created, banning them as a broadly defined class could be far more effective.
“We believe that the United States is the main cause of the problem of the abuse of fentanyl in the United States,” [Liu Yuejin, vice commissioner of the National Narcotics Control Commission] said, citing weak enforcement and a culture of addiction. He noted that the United States consumed 80 percent of the world’s opioids while making up only 5 percent of the world’s population.
In other words, until now fentanyl has been de facto legal in China. Why does a Google search for “China fentanyl addicts” turn up essentially nothing about Chinese people in China being addicted?
- https://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2016/12/21/who-funded-americas-opiate-epidemic-you-did/ (U.S. government pays Americans not to work and then buys them enough prescription opiates to become addicted)