China, South Korea, Japan to arrest citizens for cannabis use in Canada

Published Mar 8, 2019 12:00 p.m. ET
Canadian Press, Chris Young

Now that the cannabis industry has had a chance to get a bit more established in Canada and storefronts are becoming a more prominent sight, many who live outside of the country began planning trips and family vacations to the country to get the chance to experience marijuana legalization first hand. Unfortunately, according to the latest marijuana news, some governments plan to go to great lengths to stop their citizens from partaking in marijuana culture. Some even going so far as to threaten fines, jail time, and other strict repercussions for anyone who is found to have purchased or used the drug while traveling abroad. The warning is clear and states that even if citizens are going to a destination where cannabis is legal, their government will consider any involvement with the substance to be inexcusable.

Now, this may remind you of similar threats by the United States government towards their people as well as any Canadian citizens who may want to cross the US border. Not too long-ago Donald Trump promised that anyone found to have any connections to the industry may be turned away at the border and that delicate private banking information would be used to access that information. Many Canadians panicked at the prospect of having to hand over such sensitive information for the privilege of cross border shopping or vacationing, and as of now, there have yet to be any travelers who have been penalized in that manner, but will everyone be so lucky?

So far, a total of three Asian countries have announced an official warning to all their citizens including China, South Korea, and Japan. The police, narcotics specialists and officials from the three countries have promised strict penalties for anyone who doesn’t heed this advice, citing possible repercussions including fines up to $57 000, a criminal record, and even 5-year jail sentence for a first offense upon their return home. Though none have so much as suggested how they will try to screen all visitors to Canada, but these governments are known for their strict rule over their people and have a history of closely monitoring what they consider to be suspicious individuals including monitoring banking transactions, social media pages, and even phone calls to family and friends.


Cannabis use and possession are still entirely illegal for recreational use, and so far, only Korea and China have programs and laws that provide legal access to medical marijuana. These are not the first places in the world to try to establish such requirements, as Saudi Arabia has made it illegal to have any THC within your system and that rule has been in place since 2002. Though it may be hard for some of us to fathom being stalked by your government for partaking in a legal substance, South Korea has set a precedence by charging T.O.P., a famous Korean pop star that used marijuana during a recent visit to Canada and three times in his home that is located in the heart of Seoul. He has served a full ten-month sentence for his crimes and is currently out on probation.



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