While Canadians are allowed to use legal recreational marijuana, that doesn’t apply to South Koreans.
South Korea says it will arrest citizens who smoke weed in Canada. There are over 20,000 South Korean students in Canada which the domestic law applies to no matter where they are in the world.
“Weed smokers will be punished according to the Korean law, even if they did so in countries where smoking marijuana is legal. There won’t be an exception,” said Yoon Se-jin, head of the narcotics crime investigation division at Gyeonggi Nambu provincial police agency, as reported in the Korea Times.
According to South Korean law, the laws made in Seoul still apply to citizens anywhere in the world, and violations, even while abroad, can potentially mean a punishment when they return home. Smoking weed can come up with an up to five year prison sentence.
“South Korea can’t screen everyone who visited a foreign country, but the police maintain a blacklist that leads to certain individuals being supervised,” said Lee Chang-Hoon, a professor in the department of police administration at Hannam University in Daejeon.
He added, “But the police are more concerned with the transportation of marijuana into South Korea, and the police messaging shows they are anxious about tackling this issue in the near future.”