The so called “hermit country”, North Korea is getting a lot of attention recently from the marijuana community. as again reports are coming out indicating North Korea is believed to be a cannabis haven for marijuana users.
Marijuana news providers like The High Times have reported that North Korean cannabis is legal, plentiful, and overwhelmingly cheap. According to sources, Chinese tourists to this secretive country are hoarding up on bags of marijuana which only costs around $US3 for almost half a kilo. These are then being sold illegally in their home country.
However, this news circulating about the legality of marijuana in this secretive nation is a bit hazy. Apparently, its cultivation in the North is completely authorized but selling and smoking it is illegal. Marijuana users can face serious trouble in the North.
Locally in North Korea, marijuana is known as “Yeoksam”. As encouraged by the former leader, Kim Il Sung,it has been widely cultivated in the North for the longest time. This was the solution to their cooking oil shortage in the 80s. It is still being used for that purpose until now.
This plant can be seen everywhere in North Korea. They are so widespread that they have long been considered as a wild one. One source said that the people there have just recently realized that this plant can really be very profitable. They are now fighting with one another for the possession of this wonder plant.
A traveler who frequents North Korea, Troy Collings, explained that the marijuana plant that is abundant there is just hemp or also called as industrial hemp. It has no THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)which is its active chemical component that is responsible for its hallucinogen effects or “high” on marijuana users. This is sold as a cheap alternative to tobacco. He said that this marijuana strain cannot even give you a high no matter how much you smoke.
It grows wild in the North Korean Regions that are mountainous. People pick and dry these and then being sold to local markets. Aside from cooking oil, marijuana plants are also being used as the rabbit food.
The Pyongyang Hemp Processing Factory promotes hemp as an environment-friendly product that they use on several things. Not only that it is being used as cooking oil or rabbit food, it is being utilized for clothes, towels, and noodles as well.
On the other hand, Koryo Tours’ General Manager Simon Cockerell stressed that the idea cannabis is legal in North Korea has spread like wildfire. Koryo Tours is an agency that brings foreign tourists to North Korea and because of this “rumor”; they just keep getting queries about marijuana from their prospective tourist clients who are possibly marijuana users.
He firmly stated that this plan is not lawful and that tourists will not be able to get it easily. However multiple sources and news outlets have in fact confirmed, though certain parties such as Simon Cockerell denied this due to what is most likely a healthy dose of paranoia, marijuana is a common commodity in North Korea that is prized by Chinese smugglers and the government turns a blind eye to this revenue generating pastime.
Either way, it’s still reasonable to say in the off chance one find’s themselves within North Korea and sees a marijuana plant, best to just keep moving no matter what the reality may be.