Can You Smoke Weed In North Korea

Can you smoke weed in North Korea? The answer to that question is not a simple one. Despite the fact that the country is largely in the news for its human rights abuses, military threats and nuclear ambition, the question of weed smoking in North Korea is rarely discussed. But there is surprisingly much evidence which could suggest that this is indeed an accepted pastime.

Though not as widely as in some other countries, there has been a report published by the Korean Central News Agency detailing an arrest of 24 individuals who were found to be running an illegal marijuana production and distribution ring in 2017. There has also been anecdotal evidence that North Koreans will smoke and drink heavily to distract themselves from their poverty and the regime’s oppressive tactics.

Other signs of the acceptance of marijuana in North Korea include its celebratory use, with it being found on the menus of many high-end restaurants. It has also been reported that Kim Jong-un, the country’s leader, uses marijuana to stay awake during long hours of state meetings, as well as to open himself up to creative ideas.

But despite the availability and use of marijuana in North Korea, its use is still illegal under the country’s criminal code and those found to be in violation of this rule, could face the ultimate penalty: execution. As such, while marijuana may be found in the country, it is not an acceptable pastime and all efforts must be taken to avoid getting caught, as those caught are at risk of severe punishment.

Given the political and the social condition of North Korea, it must be remembered that marijuana is illegal in the country and remains heavily penalized. Those who wish to partake, should be aware of the consequences of doing so and should only do so in a safe and controlled environment.

Growing Marijuana In North Korea

As previously mentioned, it is illegal to possess, cultivate, and transport marijuana in North Korea. Despite this, it is believed that it is widely grown in the country as an ingredient in traditional teas, herbs, and remedies. In fact, it is estimated that between 10-15% of the country’s population engages in the cultivation of marijuana and the sale of related products.

Cultivation of marijuana is done mainly in the northern provinces of North Korea, as the land is well-suited for the growth and development of plants. It is also believed that the North Korean government encourages the growth of marijuana, both for medicinal and recreational purposes. However, it is also highly regulated, as the plants must be grown in certain areas and away from government-controlled land.

Despite its illegality, it is believed that North Koreans rely heavily on marijuana for income, either through direct cultivation or through the sale of processed products. Given the high poverty levels in the country, it is considered a viable way for citizens to make a living.

Overall, it is clear that marijuana is widely grown and consumed in North Korea. Despite being illegal, it is a popular pastime and is seen as a way to make money. As such, it should be viewed with caution and respect, as there are still severe risks associated with its use and sale.

Marijuana Laws In North Korea

Marijuana is illegal in North Korea, meaning it cannot be sold, bought, or used in public. There have been reports of the government issuing crackdowns on the sale and use of marijuana, as well as the closing down of dispensaries and the arrests of those caught growing and consuming it.

The government has stated that marijuana is only to be used as a medicinal treatment and that it should not be used for recreational purposes. Individuals found to be using marijuana for recreational purposes or found to be in possession of large amounts of the drug, can be arrested and sentenced to prison or even the death penalty.

In addition to this, the punishments extended to those who are caught producing or transporting marijuana are severe and can include long prison sentences and hefty fines, as well as the confiscation of property. This has been seen as a deterrent to those who are considering engaging in the production and sale of marijuana.

Ultimately, the marijuana laws in North Korea are strict and should be respected by anyone who wants to remain on the right side of the law. Despite its use and cultivation, the drug is still illegal and can have serious consequences when it is used or sold.

Civilian Use Of Marijuana In North Korea

The use of marijuana by civilians in North Korea is illegal, and the penalties for getting caught using or selling marijuana are severe. However, it is believed that it is still widely used, mainly for medicinal purposes. This is due to its reported healing properties, which include pain relief and a calming effect.

It is also believed that marijuana helps to boost appetite, which is seen as beneficial for those living in poverty in North Korea, as the drug helps to increase their caloric intake. Additionally, marijuana has been seen as a way to escape from the reality of the country and its oppressive policies.

Given its use for medicinal, recreational and even religious purposes, it is clear that marijuana is widely used in North Korea and that this trend is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Despite its illegality, the drug is still used heavily by citizens and there appears to be no signs of this changing any time soon.

Is Marijuana Safe In North Korea?

Given the illegal nature of marijuana in North Korea, it can be difficult to determine whether or not it is safe to consume. Despite its use, the country’s healthcare system is not well-equipped to handle the medical complications associated with the drug’s use, meaning that those who do take it do so at their own risk.

Marijuana is also largely unregulated, meaning that the chances of using contaminated or fake marijuana are relatively high. This makes it a risky choice for those seeking medicinal benefits, as there is no guarantee of its effectiveness.

Furthermore, the possession and sale of marijuana remain illegal and individuals can face serious consequences for engaging in such activities. As such, it is not safe to consume marijuana in North Korea and those who wish to do so should take steps to ensure they remain safe and out of reach of the government.


It is difficult to answer the question of ‘Can you smoke weed in North Korea?’ definitively. While the evidence does suggest that the drug is widely accepted and used, it is still illegal by the country’s laws and those caught using, selling or possessing it can face severe repercussions. As such, marijuana should be treated with caution and
respect, as it still carries great risks.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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