Fri, Sep 21, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Independence advocate Lo Yi denies using cannabis

LEGALIZATION?Some netizens criticized Lo, while others said personal cannabis use should be allowed, given the global trend toward decriminalization

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

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.

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