To keep customers coming back, some Chinese restaurants are lacing noodles with opiates - Quartz
Geege Schuman stashed this in Drugs
Forget Colorado, stoners. The real frontier of narcotic edibles is in Shaanxi province, China. A restaurant owner there just confessed to police that to keep customers coming back, he had infused his noodles with 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of pulverized poppy buds—which can contain narcotics like morphine and codeine—that he bought in August for 600 yuan ($98).
Apparently, it worked; the restaurant boss said customer numbers leapt (link in Chinese) after he started using his “special” seasoning. Chinese authorities say doses were enough to addict frequent diners,reports the South China Morning Post (paywall). Police launched an investigation only after one of the restaurant’s repeat customers tested positive for opiates in a routine urine screen.
Restaurant owners all over China have long embraced this customer retention trick. Last year, two restaurants in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou were caught adding pulverized poppies to their food. The prior year, seven restaurants in Ningxia were found to be dousing theirhotpot soups with morphine. A Sichuan restaurant has repeatedly been found to feature codeine as a “secret ingredient” (link in Chinese). In Guizhou province in 2004, police busted 215 restaurants for morphine-laced hotspots.
(Seinfeld reference at link)
Is... Is this legal in China?
The 26-year-old diner whose urine test exposed the noodle shop’s secret is still in prison for drug use—even though further police testing suggested he tested positive as a result of the poppy-laced noodles. “Whether it’s through self-inflicted drug use or unwitting food consumption, it’s still drug use,” says local police chief Ma Yubin told the Xi’an Evening News. “The law doesn’t draw a sharp distinction between the two.”
China isn't nearly as draconian in its enforcement of laws as I've been led to believe.