North Korea: A surreal stoner paradise?

Posted on June 19 2017

While it’s full name is The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) it is hardly a country you would associate with liberal views. Apparently this is unless you consider it’s cannabis laws. Yes North Korea is somewhat of a stoners paradise, in one sense at least, at least in the sense that it is completely legal, that is the only area which is covered by the word paradise, the rest of the country is a bit different.

North Korea remains one of the last truly mysterious places in the whole world, with very little known about what it is like to live there, what the culture is like and perhaps most importantly what the rule is up to exactly. Our only real sources on the country are defectors and Dennis Rodman, which unbeknownst to many in foresight isn’t really much to go on. We have a general idea of what it is like but we don’t know in detail how the country actually operates. Much of what we hear from the country seems like fiction, hyperbole meant to exaggerate an already villainous figure and country, in the age of ‘fake news’ we are unsure about many things, seeing is believing but in this case few can see.

Either way, onto cannabis, known colloquially as ‘yoksam’ in North Korea, marijuana is not recognised by any formal law as a drug. This may indicate that there is no formal law confirming or controlling its legality either. Based on a number of reports from journalists and tourists, it is certainly not frowned upon to light up a joint in public places, parks, on the street or even in a restaurant. It is apparently used as medicine by and grown by workers to soothe aches and pains. As well as this marijuana is also apparently very, very cheap to buy, with a whole grocery bag full costing around $0.80.

This doesn’t seem exactly like ‘at least Mussolini made the trains run on time’ but more so like the countries leader really just doesn’t care. It is unknown what strains are grown in DPRK or if there are any laws pertaining to it’s growth and distribution. One thing we do know is that tourists from neighbouring countries have managed to get their hands on bud in North Korea and consider it very easy and cheap.



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