Loads of people are happy about the groundbreaking, earth-shaking, lovemaking decision to legalize cannabis in Canada. But on that reservation of happy campers, don’t expect to find officials from Japan, China, or South Korea pitching a tent. All three of those countries have warned their citizens not to use marijuana while visiting Canada, and some are even claiming it would break their own national laws to do so.
China is just the most recent country to get officially 420-unfriendly. The country’s Consulate General in Toronto released a letter on Monday requesting that their citizens stay away from the wacky weed in order “to protect [their] physical and mental health.”
As reported by the South China Morning Post, the letter warned Chinese citizens not to break Canadian law by providing cannabis to minors or taking it abroad. “The regulation of marijuana might cause severe consequences to foreigners living in Canada,” it said.
While issuing the warning that “If someone breaks the law on marijuana regulation and is sentenced, that person with a criminal record can possibly be deported,” the letter also added the seemingly passive aggressive note to “do as you wish.”
This letter had China jumping on a bandwagon that’s already getting pretty cozy. South Korea tweeted in October to warn its wayward citizens that “even if South Koreans are in a region where marijuana is legal, it will be illegal for them to consume it.” The country also said they would be “punished accordingly.” (This could be one of very few areas in which South Korea is actually less restrictive than their infamous neighbors to the north–North Korea is rumored to be pro-cannabis in a whole swath of ways.)
And even before South Korea started spouting off anti-weed threats, Japanese consulates in Canada had released warnings earlier in October stating that Japanese citizens who purchase or possess cannabis in Canada could face legal penalties upon returning to their home country, as reported by Japan Times.
This is not exactly uncharacteristic of Japan. Simply importing or exporting the plant can result in a prison sentence of five to seven years, making using it in country both dumber and cooler than almost anywhere else.
Stay tuned to see whether other countries turn out to be friends or foes of cannabis tourism!
Photo via Flickr user WeedPornDaily