Could North Korea Become The Next Pot Destination?
Chinese and Russian tourists are flocking to the isolated hermit nation for “dirt cheap weed.”
Published on December 24, 2016

North Korea has become a location for Chinese tourists to purchase dirt-cheap weed, according to Green Rush Daily.

When travelers look for ideal spots to smoke inexpensive weed, travel books obviously point to places like Amsterdam and Denver, CO. No one expects the tiny hermit nation of North Korea to come up as a possible place to pack your bow freely, but that is exactly what appears to be happening. 

No one truly logically understands the specific laws that govern North Korea but two things appear to be clear; either the government does not enforce marijuana laws or there are none on the books. 

A few years ago, a freelance writer from England posted a blog detailing his experience purchasing a grocery bag full of weed at a local indoor market in a rural part of North Korea, and proceeded to smoke it at parks, monuments, restaurants, and bars.

“All this time we were rolling joint after joint, without tobacco, and the air in the room was thick with sweet, herbal fumes,” wrote Darmon Richter.  “In fact, coming back from a trip to the facilities I was almost unable to find my chair again – until my eyes grew accustomed to the haze.”

Richter says the stuff he bought was far from strong, containing mostly dried leaves with some flower, “but the taste – and the effect – was unmistakable.”

He describes the waitress nonchalantly coughing and waving the smoke from her face; seemingly surprised at the excitement it caused his tourist group.  The next night, (the last night of the tour) the group’s handler joined them for a smoke at their hotel bar as they drank beer and sang karaoke.

According to The Sun, a pound of cannabis is available for just under $3, and farmers in North Korea still end up making a living off of the plant. Although marijuana laws are quite harsh in China and Russia, tourists could be purchasing mass quantities in North Korea and smuggling it back into their home countries to sell illegally.

While the idea of Chinese and Russian tourists making any kind of profit from the cannabis is new, however, the cultivation of the plant is not. Cannabis has been around the area for thousands of years. In the 1980s, Kim Il-Sung encouraged residents to grow cannabis due to a cooking oil shortage, and that’s exactly how they view it, as an “oilseed crop.”

Since it has been a normal part of everyday life in the isolated country, many people do not know that other countries, like the United States, believe cannabis to be an illicit drug.  

Blake Taylor
Blake Taylor worked for a leading medical/recreational marijuana grower in the Seattle area and has been a freelance writer for four years.
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