While the U.S. is getting busy knocking down prohibition in individual states and at a federal level, China, it seems, wants to head in the other direction.

Since October 2014, more than 600,000 people who are labeled as drug users were listed as condemned for crimes. More than 130,000 people were arrest for drug crimes. That’s a 45% increase since 2013.

More than 16 tons of meth were seized in China in 2012 alone. Heroin is the #1 drug of choice in China. 1.2 million people use opioids. Since China has a population of over a billion, that’s an abuse rate of about1%.

Why is China cracking down on drugs now? New leadership. China wants more consistency in their politics and ideologies. It’s not just prison that this Communist state is using as leverage: it’s employment too. Entertainment agencies are letting go of clients who are caught using illegal substances.

The United States has learned the hard way that an all-out war against drugs is costly and ineffective. Will China learn the same thing? Or will the actions that China takes begin to turn the tide of public sentiment toward legalization of marijuana once again?