North Korea: Pot smoker's paradise

North Korea: Pot smoker's paradise

Come for the marijuana, stay for the tyranny!

Welcome to sunny North Korea, where the Auspicious Leader cares for everyone equally, and there is no poverty or starvation! Just marijuana aplenty!

 
In North Korea, marijuana literally grows like a weed, in roadside ditches across the country. It is not classified as illegal, and is not regulated in any way. In North Korea, the marijuana is cheap and freely available, and the North Koreans treat it like a little down-time relax-o-matic. 
 
Marijuana is often smoked as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, which (aside from being addictive) are filled with tar and other horrible chemicals, even worse than the cigarettes sold here in the West. It is also smoked by laborers at the end of a hard day, in order to help relax their aching muscles and as an analgesic for their aches and pains.
 
Because North Korea lacks traditional rolling papers (as well as infrastructure, an economy, and any joy whatsoever), North Koreans have had to be inventive when it comes to smoking their cheap farmstand ditchweed. North Koreans are legally prohibited from folding their newspapers in half, in case they accidentally fold up a picture of the country's leaders. But the newspaper's safer sections (like sports and weather) are fair game. Many North Koreans will tear off a square of newspaper and use it to roll a cone-shaped spliff.
 
One interesting side effect of the marijuana situation in North Korea is that it is not particularly potent. Because it is only being cultivated haphazardly (if at all), little attention has been paid to the plants' THC levels and genetic heritage. As opposed to the West, where growers have been meticulously keeping records and developing stronger and stronger strains in order to maximize profit and reduce their risk. There's no point to going to all that trouble for something that sells for a pittance. Many people don't even buy marijuana, they just pick it themselves. 
 
The other down side to smoking marijuana in North Korea is that you will be in North Korea. The country which is generally recognized as being one of the worst, most dismal, most totalitarian regimes in the world. Among other things, North Korea currently houses about 200,000 political prisoners and their families sentenced to slave labor in concentration camps, babies born with disabilities are killed at birth, the state forces girls as young as 14 to work as prostitutes, public executions are common… the list of "ways in which North Korea is terrible" is endless. At least they can get high?