Does North Korea Have a More Tolerant Pot Policy than South Korea?
Well, absolutely not, but you could be forgiven for thinking so, based on a cursory review of recent headlines.
Although it hasn’t made much of splash stateside, the big news in South Korea this week is the “marijuana scandal” surrounding a singer from the suggestively named K-pop boy-band Big Bang, who goes by the stage-name T.O.P.
He could face five years in the slammer after a hair follicle test by the Seoul Metropolitan Police yielded positive results for cannabis. He was fingered for the test after a young woman busted for “liquid marijuana” (presumably some kind of extract) named him as the supplier, according to Korea Portal.
The affair could spell the end of Big Bang, whose massive and ravenous fan base makes them practically a mini-industry in South Korea—although the members approaching the age of mandatory military service was already a looming reality. Ironically, the stress of his cannabis case could be driving T.O.P. to harder stuff—last week he was found unconscious from an apparent overdose of tranquilizers. (An example of prohibition itself paradoxically making the bogus “gateway drug” theory a self-fulfilling prophecy.)
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