Security Bureau expresses deep regret over a misleading commentary in Ming Pao on the legislative control of cannabidiol and anti-drug work

     The Security Bureau (SB) expressed deep regret over a misleading and fact-twisting commentary on the control of cannabidiol (CBD) through legislation and on anti-drug work written by Mr Lun Chi-wai and published by Ming Pao today (November 3). The article is misleading and twists facts, paying no regard to the anti-drug efforts contributed by different sectors over the years and misinterpreting the well-proven "zero tolerance" policy towards drugs.
     A spokesman for the SB said, "When commenting on the publication of a gazette notice for bringing CBD under the control of the First Schedule to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, the article seriously distorts the intent of safeguarding public health by controlling CBD through legislation, and purposely misinterprets such legislation as relating to the policy of the Mainland, which may sow discord between the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Government has repeatedly explained the hazards of CBD and its scientific justifications for controlling the substance as a dangerous drugs to the Legislative Council, members of public and the sectors concerned. The welfare sector has also voiced its support. The article turns a blind eye to these facts, downplays the harmful effects caused by drug abuse and irrationally associates our legislation with the Mainland. The content may cause dissention between the two places, and may confuse the public as well as affect their vigilance against drugs. We are deeply regret over it."
    The article also mentioned ketamine (a type of drug which is commonly known as "K"). "Ketamine is harmful apparently. The article postulates that, in early years, the legislation to prohibit ketamine in Hong Kong was mainly following the practices overseas. This is a misleading claim that disregards the determination to restrain drug harm by the Government and the community as well as the nature of ketamine as a dangerous drug. With concerted efforts by everyone, the number of ketamine abusers has decreased over the years," the spokesman said.
     Regarding the support from the welfare sector to anti-drug policies, the spokesman said, "For many years, the welfare sector has been a key partner of the Government on anti-drug work. We are grateful for the contribution and support from the sector. The Government believes that the welfare sector is professionally capable to make a judgement, and will not blindly support the Government's anti-drug efforts and policies. The article, which questions the welfare sector, not only affects the morale of the workers in the anti-drug sector, but also arouses suspicion of inciting the sector to question the Government's anti-drug efforts or to pull back its support. As a member of the welfare sector, the author's disregard of the public well-being and groundless speculation are disappointing."
     The Government hopes the community can be united in our fight against drugs and all discussion of anti-drug policies should be based on facts, the spokesman added. The Government will continue to educate the public on the harm caused by drugs, including cannabis and ketamine, and will work on publicity on controlling CBD as a dangerous drug starting from February 1, 2023. The SB has uploaded a video explaining the proposal for controlling CBD through legislation at  in June for public viewing.
     The SB expressed grave concern about the misleading articles published by Ming Pao recently, including the commentary on the Immigration Department's handling of screening of Trafficking in Persons cases and the newspaper cartoon about the police officer's handling of requests for assistance by schools.

Ends/Thursday, November 3, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:03