China set to pass first anti-drug law
China is expected to pass its first anti-drug law this week to combat drug-related crimes and reduce the number of abusers, state media said on Sunday.
Lawmakers will review from Sunday a final draft of the bill with revisions that included raising the age limit for compulsory rehabilitation to 16 from 14.
Opium, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine hydrochloride -- commonly known as "ice" -- as well as morphine and cocaine were listed as banned drugs in the draft, Xinhua said.
A revised version also said drug-addicted pregnant women who breast-feed babies under one year old were not suitable for compulsory rehabilitation.
At present, drug dealing is considered a crime under more general criminal laws.
Drug abuse was virtually wiped out after the Communist Party took power in 1949, but like prostitution and other perceived Western vices, it has staged a comeback in the wake of economic reforms over the past three decades.
China has about 940,000 registered drug addicts, of which more than 740,000 were hooked on heroin, the official People's Daily said on its Web site www.people.com.cn last week. ( Reuters )