It is known as Yeoksam in North Korea, and tourists are after its cheap leafy goodness. Or so it would seem according to a report from the Seoul based American network Radio Free Asia. Tourists from China flock to Rason, a Special Economic Zone, in the northeasternmost province of the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) to buy the equivalent of $4.30 per 2.2 lbs bags of weed and sell them for nearly 20 times the price at home.
Marijuana is highly illegal in China, as are many other substances, likely because of the country’s history with the Opium Wars which crippled its population and allowed certain regions to fall to British colonial rule. Today marijuana in China can land you 15-years to life and even a death sentence for the most offenses.
But North Korea is different. According to Vice’s sources who make regular trips to the country, marijuana is just not seen as the boogieman. It’s even used by the military whose trench-bound treats are giant spliffs rather than Lucky Strikes.
Accounts of cannabis being grown by local farmers are backed up in an AMA post from an American on Reddit who claims to go to North Korea annually. He describes his own discovery of a cannabis farm on a visit.
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