Canada recently became the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana.
The South Korean government and police force have ruined the party for any South Korean nationals hoping to try the drug while in Canada.
“Even if it is in an area where marijuana is legalized, if our citizens smoke (or sell, possess, transport) marijuana it will be categorized as illegal. Please take care not to commit an illegal act and receive punishment.”
— South Korean Embassy in Canada
There have been a few celebrity cases in which Korean celebrities were caught smoking marijuana abroad. Rapper Crown J, for example, was actually slapped with jail time.
G-Dragon, was also caught after smoking cannabis in Japan but escaped jail time as it was his first offence — though many Korean netizens haven’t let go of that incident yet.
T.O.P. also pleaded guilty to smoking marijuana and was sentenced to a 10-month suspended jail sentence. He was also re-assigned from the police department to the public service department for the rest of his mandatory military service.
Several other Korean celebrities have been sentenced with jail time due to cannabis use like Psy, CJamm, former TOPDOGG member Kidoh, and Iron.
These incidents demonstrated the strict enforcement of drug laws for even small amounts.
The head of the Narcotics Crime Investigation Division at Gyeonggi Southern District Police Agency announced that Korean citizens who are caught smoking weed in Canada will be punished according to Korean law without exception.
It remains to be seen whether the 23,000 South Korean students and countless tourists in Canada will heed these warnings.