North Korea’s Surprising Position on Marijuana

Enjoy the revolution, comrade. (Source: Wikimedia)

Enjoy the revolution, comrade. (Source: Wikimedia)

Arguably, the worst government in the world is enlightened when it comes at least one matter — marijuana. North Korea doesn’t tolerate most recreational drug use; however, marijuana is not just tolerated but allowed. It grows wild in the countryside and is used by laborers at the end of the day to soothe aching muscles or even by soldiers during their time off duty. From NK News:

There is no taboo around pot smoking in the country — many North Koreans know the drug exists and have smoked it. In North Korea, the drug goes by the name of ip tambae or “leaf tobacco.” It is reported to be especially popular amongst young soldiers in the North Korean military — rather than getting hooked on tar & nicotine like their contemporaries in the West, they fraternize without fear of repercussion by lighting up king-sized doobies during down time on the military beat.

The reason for smoking weed in North Korea differs from America. In North Korea, you don’t smoke weed purely to get high and laugh at your own hand, you do it to save money and as a break from the ubiquitous cheap local cigarettes that do more damage than good. In the black markets of North Korea, marijuana is sold at a cheap price and is easily obtainable in some areas. Therefore, the drug is especially popular among the lower classes of North Korean society. After a day of hard manual labor, it is common for North Korean workers to smoke marijuana as a way to relax and soothe tight or sore muscles.

This leaves North Korea with one of the most tolerant marijuana policies in the world, if not the most tolerant. For a country that is run as horribly as it is, it only goes to show that even the most oppressive countries sometimes get it right. Ironically, North Korea is on the right side of liberty when it comes to marijuana while the rest of the world spends billions on prohibition.

There is just one problem with all the pot smoking in North Korea. What do they eat when they get the munchies?

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