On Smoking Weed in North Korea
So as it turns out, growing and smoking cannabis is completely legal in North Korea. Encouraged , even. Here's the story of how I found out... and then ended up indulging in the 'special plant' with an officer from North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The discovery came during my recent tour of Rason in North Korea, at the time of the 2013 Korean Crisis. The DPRK was - potentially - poised on the brink of nuclear war with the South, with Japan, the US, et al., and I was hanging out in a small port town somewhere near the Russian border. As is generally the case with tours to North Korea, I had visited as a part of a group. However, this was no ordinary group. Rather than offering the tour to members of the public, the team at Young Pioneer Tours were putting on a 'staff outing' of sorts... and I'd been invited along for the ride. In true Korean style, YPT's counterpoints in the DPRK felt obliged to match this show of seniority (as they perceived it) by sending one of their own high-ranking officials to lead our group: a 'Mr Kim,' from North Korea's own Ministry of Foreign Affairs . The details of the tour - as well as my own reflections on visiting the country at a time of seemingly imminent war - are the subject of my post on the 2013 Korean Crisis . What follows here, are the parts I left out. Rason Market Having a high-ranking North Korean official in our team unlocked doors for us; doors which usually remained firmly closed to tourists. On the standard North Kor...