Govt regrets misleading commentary

November 3, 2022

The Security Bureau expressed deep regret over a misleading and fact-twisting commentary written by Lun Chi-wai and published by Ming Pao today on the control of cannabidiol (CBD) through legislation and the Government's anti-drug work.


It said the article pays no regard to the anti-drug efforts contributed by different sectors over the years and misinterprets the well-proven zero tolerance policy towards drugs.


“When commenting on the publication of a gazette notice for bringing CBD under the control of the First Schedule to the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, the article seriously distorts the intent of safeguarding public health by controlling CBD through legislation, and purposely misinterprets such legislation as relating to the policy of the Mainland, which may sow discord between the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”


The bureau also pointed out that the Government has repeatedly explained the hazards of CBD and its scientific justifications for controlling the substance as a dangerous drug to the Legislative Council, members of the public and the sectors concerned, while the welfare sector has also voiced its support.


“The article turns a blind eye to these facts, downplays the harmful effects caused by drug abuse and irrationally associates our legislation with the Mainland.


“The content may cause dissention between the two places and may confuse the public as well as affect their vigilance against drugs,” it noted.


Regarding the article's suggestion that the legislation to prohibit ketamine in Hong Kong in early years was mainly following the practices overseas, the bureau said it is a misleading claim disregarding the determination to restrain drug harm by the Government and the community as well as the nature of ketamine as a dangerous drug.


With everyone's concerted efforts, the number of ketamine abusers has decreased over the years, it added.


Furthermore, the bureau emphasised that the welfare sector has been a key partner of the Government on anti-drug work for many years and that it is grateful for the sector's contribution and support.


It believes that the sector is professionally capable of making a judgement and will not blindly support the Government's anti-drug efforts and policies.


The bureau said: “The article, which questions the welfare sector, not only affects the morale of the workers in the anti-drug sector, but also arouses suspicion of inciting the sector to question the Government's anti-drug efforts or to pull back its support.


“As a member of the welfare sector, the author's disregard of public well-being and groundless speculation are disappointing.”


The Government hopes the community can be united in the fight against drugs, adding that all discussions of anti-drug policies should be based on facts.


It said it will continue to educate the public on the harm caused by drugs, including cannabis and ketamine, and will work on the publicity on controlling CBD as a dangerous drug from February 1 next year.


The bureau also expressed grave concern about the misleading content published by Ming Pao recently, including the commentary on how the Immigration Department handles the screening of trafficking in persons cases and the newspaper cartoon about police officers' handling of requests for assistance by schools.

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