North-Korea's Marijuana Culture

Discussion in 'Cannabis and Marijuana' started by ariekanibalie, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. ariekanibalie

    ariekanibalie Member

    This story ran on Vice about 8 months ago, so maybe it's old news to some, but I only stumbled upon it yesterday. It seems that according to Vice, corroborating anecdotal reports from travelers to the mythically insular rogue state, North-Korea's crimes against humanity might be plenty, but criminalizing the green isn't one of them.

    As it turns out, cannabis is entirely legal in this last remaining Maoist bastion. Both to grow and use, so none of those 'only for medicinal use' or 'legal to have/sell but not to grow' rules we see in Western legislation. Consequently it is also dirt-cheap, with one traveller reporting of procuring a shopping bag of the stuff at a nationals-only market for the equivalent of .25 $.

    Alright, it's not the ultra-bred, pure THC Sativa strains we can buy here, and more akin to the Mexican bush weed your mom and pop smoked back in the 60s. But at that price, who cares, right?

    It seems cannabis is used by off-duty soldiers and menial laborers to unwind/de-stress, both physically and mentally, as a cheaper (and one might argue healthier) alternative to tobacco. All in all, the stuff seems to be used more as a 'medicine' than as a 'drug'. Which is why locals might be a bit hesitant to let foreigners in on this little secret - because they're not so insular as to be incapable of imagining what your average American tourist will do once they cop a big bag of the stuff (i.e. start rolling foot long beast-joints, take photos and get all obnoxious about something that, to the North-Koreans, is really just a normal plant.

    So what do you think it means?

    While I sympathize with North-Korea's wish to be free from American Empire's grubby hands, I don't doubt that the majority of its citizens, when given the choice, would gladly embrace a more liberal capitalist system a la the West. If only to be able to say: yes, this Western capitalist system is about as 'free' as a prison industrial complex in USSR Siberia, but at least here you've got a choice of opiates to forget the drudgery that is your pathetic cog-in-the-machine life. But there's an interesting observation in the comment section below the article, from I presume a South-Korean national, touching on how cannabis use was an integral part of Korean culture as a whole before the war. Apparently it was under the US-sponsored military democracy that the South's draconian drug codes were implemented. Today you can get up to five years in prison for smoking reefer, and it's hard not to see the ideological connection between Seoul's integration with Reagan's War on Drugs on the one side, and South Korea's economic transformation into the hi-octane (and completely deranged) IT/military tech hub that it is today.
  2. unfocusedanakin

    unfocusedanakin The Archaic Revival Lifetime Supporter

    At least they have something to take their mind off living in North Korea.
  3. slappysquirrel

    slappysquirrel Senior Member

    sypathize w/ the north's wish to be free of the american empire?? the fuck are you smoking, you know what really goes on there?? maybe they need to have weed legal so they can numb the bullshit of living in such a shithole
  4. SunshineChild

    SunshineChild Mad Scientist

    I really think marijuana grows freely in North Korea because they don't know you can smoke it, they just know it as hemp for the most part. Really doubt cannabis is that prevalently smoked there as it isn't in any of the surrounding Asian countries. And why would $.25 get you a shopping bag of weed in North Korea when in South Korea $25 will only get you a gram? The Japanese, Chinese and South Koreans think weed is as bad as heroin (that is if they know what it is.. most Chinese police I have heard cannot identify cannabis) so why would the North be any different? I do believe this article is either misinformed, sensationalized, or both.
  5. Jimi2007

    Jimi2007 Member

    Why would North Korea be different? North Korea is VERY different than Japan, China, or even South Korea, why would you assume this is fake? You do realize Asia is not one giant country and/or hive mind, right? Just because China and North Korea are a lot more alike than France and China does not mean they are practically the same country, not even a tiny bit close. I mean, North Korea is so isolated from the rest of the world it isn't that surprising they have laws that are very different than a huge majority of countries. Weed is indeed widely used in North Korea and is accepted by the government.


    Also says right on the Wikipedia entry for Legality of Cannabis by Country, quote "Furthermore, possession is legal or effectively legal in the Netherlands, North Korea,[2] and the U.S. states of Washington and Colorado at the state level". Making assumptions about other countries without doing any research is what academics like to call "fucking stupid".
  6. SunshineChild

    SunshineChild Mad Scientist

    It's not like you did any research either brother. Yes cannabis and opium are legal in North Korea but that doesn't mean it's widely used recreationally. Certainly you can't call it a weed smokers paradise when there's a million other places where weed is practically legal and more potent. The mindset of North Koreans and Chinese are very similar - that's why they argue back and forth who created the tea ceremony, for one example among a million I could think of. Their history is rather interchangeable. Please show me some actual statistics on marijuana use in North Korea or else you're just as "fucking stupid".
  7. Mike Suicide

    Mike Suicide Sweet and Tender Hooligan

    I just did a quick google search on cannabis north korea. The results came back with tons of articles, pics and information about costs, legality and usage. It looks like the OP is right.
  8. SunshineChild

    SunshineChild Mad Scientist

    Funny. I typed in "cannabis North Korea" and all I can find are re-hashes of this same article. Every one is from 2013 in fact. I want actual statistics not hearsay.
  9. NoxiousGas

    NoxiousGas Old Fart

    Well I doubt anyone from this forum is interested in relocating to North Korea for some weed and I really doubt any North Koreans are able to view Hip Forums,
    Who the fuck cares?
  10. eggsprog

    eggsprog anti gang marriage HipForums Supporter

    Have you been to North Korea before? Until you have, and can provide me with evidence otherwise, I'm going to go ahead and believe the multiple articles I have read that agree with the Vice article.

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