South Korean drug scene
October 10, 2006 8:24 AM   Subscribe

I would like some information on the illicit drug scene in South Korea.

I am aware that marijuana use is strictly forbidden here, as in most of Asia. So I don't want to know "Where can I score weed?", as that would be illegal. Nevertheless, as a marijuana afficionado, I am curious. So for purely sociological/cultural research purposes, I would like to hear from those who have been here in South Korea and who know:

Are their places in Seoul where dealers sell openly, to strangers? If so, whereabouts?
Are the cops hip to the scene? I have been told that Korean police are very mild and tame, and that they wouldn't even recognize the smell.
Is there a smoking culture among the youth / local Koreans, or is drug activity primarily a foreigner thing?
posted by Meatbomb to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: s/their/there
posted by Meatbomb at 8:26 AM on October 10, 2006

Best answer: This site is sometimes useful for that type of info.
posted by nixxon at 8:57 AM on October 10, 2006

I could not tell you about SK, but from my experiences in China, i would say that is almost exclusivly a westerner/minority thing. Also I would bet money that you will not find any pot, you will at best come across some hash. Also mild as they may be, you do not want to go into an Asian prison on drug charges, they take them VERY VERY seriously.
posted by BobbyDigital at 9:50 AM on October 10, 2006

What I understood from the two months that I was there is that you won't, under any circumstances, "score weed". If you're lucky you can find expensive, crappy hash.
(This info from canadians over drinks)
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 11:46 AM on October 10, 2006

You "can" get weed but it's pretty much not worth it.
A) Expensive
B) Hard to find
C) Shitty (like shwag)
D) Very risky
I read a story about a foreigner who was friends with a pot dealer and had smoked some, and he was sent to jail for several months merely for having hashish in his blood.
As far as the culture goes, the funny thing is that most people in their early 20s or under have Bob Marley/Jimi Hendrix emblems on jackets or backpacks, or they are likely to have pot leaves on necklaces or on clothes. This is a cultural phenomenon that, I reckon, is completely adopted from America. If you asked any of them about it, I bet 9/10 would have no clue what marijuana even is.
I have no real experience with the cops but I would bet my Won that they would have no idea what pot smells like or how to catch it.
Interesting anecdote: At the Korean Folk Village there are a bunch of plants growing and they had a huge Cannibis Sativa plant growing there, labelled and everything. If they had it there, you can assume that most of the culture is completely unaware of marijuana.
You mention areas in Seoul... I have no personal experience but the one place I would assume or suppose you could get something from a dealer on the street would in be Itaewon, as that place is mostly filled with US soldiers and other random foreigners.
posted by shokod at 12:58 PM on October 10, 2006

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