Taiwanese independence advocate Lo Yi (羅宜) yesterday denied news reports alleging that he had purchased cannabis, saying he was targeted for vilification because he had confronted Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) over an Olympics name rectification campaign.
Controversy over Lo’s alleged drug use has stirred wide discussion in the media and online, with some people supporting Lo and calling for Taiwan to decriminalize the use of cannabis.
The Chinese-language magazine Mirror Media on Wednesday cited a drug conviction against a man surnamed Chien (簡), who was 29 in 2016 when he was convicted of selling cannabis and LSD to friends.
In a second ruling, Chien received a 12-year prison sentence. A decision on his appeal to the Supreme Court is still pending.
Lo in 2016 allegedly purchased NT$16,000 of cannabis from Chien, as they knew each other while in college, the magazine article said, citing court documents.
Lo denied the allegations, saying that he was never charged and it was “outrageous” for a news report to quote from unverified sources.
Lo last month received media attention after he asked Ko to sign a referendum proposal to change the nation’s name from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan” for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Some netizens said that Lo lost his credibility after being outed as a drug user, while others promoted the legalization of medical and personal use of cannabis, as the world is trending toward decriminalization.
Advocates pointed to a decision by the South African Supreme Court on Tuesday that legalized private use of cannabis.
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
CONTROVERSY: NHIA Director-General Lee Po-chang said an outcry over overseas Taiwanese not paying premiums, but having coverage, is pushing rule amendments Rules changes are being considered that would force Taiwanese who permanently live abroad to pay National Health Insurance (NHI) premiums for the period they were overseas before they can re-enroll in the system, National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) Director-General Lee Po-chang (李伯璋) yesterday said. The case of a married Taiwanese couple who lived in the US for about 30 years, but returned to Taiwan in April and tested positive for COVID-19 has again sparked public debate over why Taiwanese living abroad are allowed to use NHI resources, — although the couple’s expenses were not covered by the NHI. An often cited example
AN EXAMPLE: After attending a memorial service for Lee Teng-hui, Mori said the former president’s career reflected the importance of peace and democracy Using military force to resolve conflict is no longer workable in this new era, which requires peaceful discussion, former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori said yesterday before leaving Taipei. Mori made the remarks at a news conference in front of the EVA Sky Jet Center at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), after leading a delegation to attend the official memorial service for former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水). This was Mori’s second trip to mourn Lee; his last was on Aug. 9. Although he walked with a crutch, Mori, 83, chose to stand right in front of