As shocking as it may seem, marijuana is legal in North Korea, widely considered to be the most oppressive society on Earth. Given the fact that North Koreans are sentenced by Orwellian courts to death or lengthy terms in Stalin-style gulags for the most trivial “crimes,” it is hard to believe that North Korea actually has a more progressive cannabis policy than the United States and most of its democratic allies. Both North Korean defectors and foreign tourists report that cannabis is openly sold at markets, grown in home gardens and smoked in public. Foreign visitors to North Korea are assigned “minders” who follow their every step, but the minders fire up the ganja along with the foreign tourists.
The North Korean government considers cannabis to be a mere plant, and not a drug. In fact, the North Korean government has even sold marijuana to foreign buyers as a means of generating desperately needed hard currency. Something tells me, however, that the North Korean crop is likely of inferior quality. I highly doubt that they are on the cutting edge of hydroponics or selective breeding.
I say kudos to North Korea for at least doing something right. As horrible as the lives of their citizens are, they deserve some down time after a hard day’s work. And certainly it is a far healthier choice than the hard liquor Soviet citizens used for self-medication.
Matt McClenahen is a criminal defense attorney in State College, Pennsylvania, home of Penn State University. He has extensive experience in representing people charges with marijuana-related offenses. http://www.mattmlaw.com/Criminal-Defense-Overview/Marijuana-Related-Offenses.shtml