You are here
Home > News > Is Cannabis Legalization Moving Forward in Taiwan?

Is Cannabis Legalization Moving Forward in Taiwan?

Regardless of how slow cannabis reform in the West is progressing, there’s one area where it is happening at a more tortoiselike speed: China and its territories including Taiwan. An individual can get a sentence for just smoking cannabis. You could be sentenced to life for selling it. Even hemp can be included in this sentence.

This is not due to the lack of advocates for reform. In fact, marijuana legalization is gaining momentum. There have been marches and protest rallies. This includes a demonstration outside of the Ministry of Justice in Taipei this month by the advocacy group Green Sensation—although organizers were pressured by police—several times—to disperse. One4,000 people have signed a new petition to help the group gain political support. 

Also, this reform initiative is not taking place in a vacuum. Taiwanese lawmakers just approved a law that reduces the penalty for cultivating cannabis for personal use to one year imprisonment. This is in addition to the minimum five-year sentence. 

It’s not hard to understand why. Amphetamines are one of the most popular drugs.

China: Cannabis Reform

Although cannabis reform in Asia has not been widely accepted, signs are beginning to show that it is slowly moving forward. Thailand recently made cannabis legal in Thailand and has begun a program for medical marijuana cultivation. It is possible to use cannabis for recreational purposes in Thailand.

However, despite this “Asian Miracle,” China and its territories remain the last great uncharted territory for reform. On the Chinese mainland, even hemp seeds and CBD skincare products are banned—despite the fact that China remains the world’s largest hemp-cultivating country—producing about half of the world’s entire supply. 

China has classified cannabis in 1985 as dangerous narcotic drugs.

However, this hasn’t always been true. Cannabis has historically been used to treat ailments and for ritual purposes in Taoism. Cannabis is a word. maThe hemp plant’s oldest name is, which is used for medical cannabis around 2700 BCE. Taiwan was the first place where cannabis cultivation was recorded.

During the 19th Century, China’s Xinjiang Province was a leading producer and exporter. From 1934 to 1934, tonnes of hash was legally exported each year to British India.

However, China and the United States joined forces to oppose the UN’s 2020 decision to eliminate cannabis from the global schedule IV list. 

“Science” Vs. “Science” Vs. Fact

The continuing resistance to cannabis reform by the world’s largest countries even after the scientific advances over the last 40 years—including identification of the endocannabinoid system of the body—may well, in retrospect, go down in history as one of the world’s last great unscientifically-based witch hunts. The Cannabinoid “Dark Ages” as it were.

Canada is the only G7 nation to have legalized marijuana federally. While the United States or Germany might be next, or perhaps third, to legalize marijuana, Canada remains the only G7 country to have done so. However, both countries are clear that the problem is still stalled because of inaction from federal politicians.

China could punish its users with harsh penalties, but they are continuing to follow the lead of great power nations. Russia still makes cannabis illegal.

Constitutional Rights being violated everywhere

There is only one way to fight injustice—and that is to organize. Even the most significant movements for equality and freedom took many years. The formal “civil rights” movement is frequently cited as lasting from 1919 to the end of the 1960s—over 40 years. It is still not finished, however.

That is about the same amount of time, so far, that activists and reformers have been pushing against international sanctions against cannabis—even for medical use.

It is clear that cannabis reform cannot be ignored. However, the established forces behind the status quo deliberately delay a decision on a global basis.

Being a marijuana advocate or activist is a dangerous business.