A Chinese official recently said a very stupid thing about marijuana legalization in America. The official, Yu Haibin of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, said that legalization makes Americans more accepting of drugs. This, he claimed, is a major reason the U.S. is experiencing an opioid epidemic.

Despite the evidence showing legalization actually reduces the use of opioids in a state, Yu blamed legalization for elevating opioid use. To be fair, he also blamed the overprescription of opioids caused by massive pharmaceutical companies, which is a totally accurate criticism.

Yu was discussing the opioid issue because much of the opioids being purchased illicitly by Americans comes from China. This includes the dangerous opioid fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin. “China doesn’t deny that shipments to the U.S. happen, but there isn’t the proof to show how much — whether it’s 20 percent or 80 percent,” he said. He’s trying to say China isn’t importing most of these opioids, but he provides no evidence.

Essentially, Yu wrongly blamed legalization of cannabis for the opioid epidemic and accurately blamed the overprescription of opioids. He said one stupid thing and one smart thing. Being half right isn’t too bad, I guess.

[Photo by Matthias Mendler/Flickr]

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