• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 1:28am
CommentInsight & Opinion
LEADER

Fame is no excuse for taking drugs

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 5:05am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 9:01am

The special treatment and adulation that celebrities receive can be highly addictive. But fame can also lead to drug addiction, which is why stars of stage, screen and the written word are being targeted in a nation-wide crackdown on abusers. Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan's son, Jaycee, and Taiwanese actor Ko Chen-tung are the latest to be arrested, sending a clear message to fans and the general populace alike that no matter who is involved, there is zero tolerance. It is a creative way to deal with an aspect of a worsening problem.

President Xi Jinping declared a war on drugs in June for good reason: China has more than 2.5 million addicts, 75 per cent under the age of 35. Growing affluence has fuelled demand, leading to inevitable social and economic costs for the nation. The consequences are deaths from overdoses, illness, domestic violence, crime, traffic accidents, lost opportunities and reduced productivity. Strict measures implemented against use, trafficking and manufacturing of illegal substances, particularly synthetic drugs like methamphetamines, are understandable.

Celebrities, as role models, can help curb drug use. Ko was involved in an anti-drug campaign in 2012. But too often, the pressure of their jobs can also lead to abuse and addiction. Jaycee Chan - better known as Jaycee Fong Cho-ming - and Ko join a growing list of performers who are among the tens of thousands of people apprehended, charged or sentenced for drug offences so far this year.

We have a double standard when it comes to celebrities: they are counted on for entertainment, gossip included, but we also hold them to high moral standards. Technology has given us easy access to their lives and all it takes is a click or two to know where they are, what they are doing and who they are with. That means they can be immensely influential, especially to impressionable young people. Like it or not, as the mainland battles the scourge of drugs, actors, singers and authors have an obligation to steer clear of illegal substances.

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This article is now closed to comments

mercedes2233
The editorial is full of holes. Jaycee is not a celebrity in his own right, otherwise the press would not need to say in every article who his parent is. He does not therefore illustrate the link between fame and drugs. And there are zillions of drug takers all over the world who are not famous, including young people in school and university campuses. And there are lots of famous people including scientists who do not use drugs.
I also don't agree that we hold entertainers to 'high moral standards'. You must be joking. Gossip columns and magazines sell because of tales of entertainers behaving very badly, and we salivate over the next disgusting development. And we are used to stories of drug-fueled deaths of high-profile people like Whitney Houston, Peaches Geldorf (with a famous parent), and we snigger over Elizabeth Taylor's eight marriages, so, no, we don't hold them to any kind of standard.
Are you having a very bad day?
mikecheung99@gmail.com
Really SCMP?! It was just weed!
If this was Saudi Arabia, I'd get it.... but an English paper in supposedly free-thinking Hong Kong? You should be ashamed.
Cannabis has been decriminalized in Colorado and Washington and there are now thriving marijuana industries taking shape. Your ignorance is astounding.
mdap
Like Father Like Son ....... Jackie Chan is a disgraceful role model and why he is revered is because people don't know the sexist and quite ignorant person he is! He lives in a world where he feels he is a god , his son clearly feels he is above the law too ...
mercedes2233
He was born in great poverty and was sent off to learn martial arts which in earlier days can be quite cruel. He pulled himself up by the bootstraps and made Cantonese and US films which were highly popular, so now he is wealthy. HK people resented his remarks about Chinese people needing to be controlled. However under freedom of speech, he certainly may allow to think and say what he likes. I don't watch his films myself, but I appreciate that he is self-made man. I don't know the part of him that is god-like! but let that be. Lots more colourless men think they are the bees' knees too without more justification. If his son wants to take drugs also, why should it have anything to do with Jackie Chan? Lots of youne people use drugs without being the offspring of Jackie Chan too.
dead2k1
This reads like a government propaganda piece.....few facts, many factual sounding assertions.
tennis9090
This is another great article from supposedly HK's only English newspaper that highlights just how naive and uninformed some folks are when it comes to drugs. Their cavemen sense of morality is pathetic. I bet Mr. Editor here never inhaled either. Well if you did, you'd be so much better!
iluvmycity
Alcohol and tobacco are the real killer
blue
Another inane article from the SCMP. Cannabis is harmless and should be legalized for medical use like it is in several US states. In Colorado and other US states, it's even legal for recreational use.

Alcohol is more harmful than cannabis, but nobody is ordering a crackdown on alcohol.
Zerung
Forget the US. In many ways they are as backward as you could find anywhere else.
HK has more stricter laws on cigarettes than the US.
lucifer
They should be caned 20 times then let go, after allowing a lama to rape them.....

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