Taiwan averages about 10 cannabis possession cases per month, although the real figure of those using is certainly much higher, according to Wang Chieh-to (王捷拓), a former prosecutor turned lawyer.
“Most people in Taiwan who smoke marijuana are white-collar professionals, and many are university graduates or young people who have visited or studied in countries where recreational use of cannabis is legal,” Wang said.
“The authorities do not typically come across it, because most Taiwanese users have no criminal record, they privately purchase the cannabis and related products for recreational use, for relaxation, and they usually do not keep a big amount at home,” he added.
Wang made the remarks as cannabis came to the public’s attention after Ker Chun-yao (柯鈞耀), son of Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), was on Friday questioned and released on NT$100,000 bail for an alleged breach of the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例).
Maritime Affairs Division’s Keelung branch intercepted a package of cannabis extracts addressed to Ker Chun-yao, who reportedly denied knowing the package’s contents or using any illegal substances in Taiwan.
Prosecutors attempting to check his communication records were hindered by Ker Chun-yao saying that he lost his smartphone.
Ker Chien-ming on Friday said that he respects the judiciary’s investigation and that his son was fully cooperating with prosecutors.
Lee Hui-chu (李慧珠), a defense lawyer with trial experience, said that cannabis is a Category 2 narcotic under the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例) and that offenders face from 10 years to life in prison.
“However, Taiwan’s justice system is not as ‘hardline’ as in the past,” she said. “For people with no prior convictions and who are first-time offenders on a cannabis charge, the courts are generally deferring prosecution for drug rehabilitation, or offering no indictment in exchange for evaluating the client’s abstinence after undergoing a successful drug rehabilitation.”
Advocates in Taiwan — who have formed the Green Sensation coalition, which they say has the support of a few lawmakers — have called for the legalization of cannabis, including for medicinal use.
On April 20 last year — also known as “Weed Day” — the Green Sensation held a demonstration outside the Legislative Yuan.
Phase 2 clinical trial results of the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday were published on the Web site of The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine, in an early preview before publication. The study paves the way for other nations to issue emergency use authorizations or produce the Medigen vaccine, given The Lancet’s credibility as a highly respected medical journal with a rigorous peer-review process, Medigen’s international affairs director Lien Chia-en (連加恩) said. Lien said that the study is important as it proposes methods for converting international units for efficacy comparisons. The methods have been used for correlating the efficacy of hepatitis B
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
THREATS: Dismissing Beijing’s assertion that its military exercises only target Taiwanese separatists, Chiu Kuo-cheng said war has no regard for political affiliation In case Taiwan is attacked, the military will defend the nation and not stand by like “plastic toys,” Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee. Chiu was responding to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) asking him to clarify his remark last week that “the military holds to the principle that we will not fire the first shot.” Wang asked Chiu whether he meant what he said literally or that Taiwan would not start a war. “The Republic of China will not start a war,” Chiu
Taiwanese worked more hours than people in all but three other countries in the world last year, Ministry of Labor data showed. Singapore placed first in average hours worked among the 40 economies surveyed, with an average of 2,288 hours per worker last year, the data showed. The city-state was followed by Colombia with 2,172 hours — based on 2019 data — and Mexico with 2,124 hours, it showed. Taiwan came in fourth, with 2,021 hours, it showed. South Korean workers clocked the third-most hours in Asia, with 1,908 hours, followed by Japan with 1,598 hours, it showed. However, compared with 2019, the survey found