As Marijuana Industry Picks up in Canada, China, Japan, South Korea Warn Citizens to Refrain From Cannabis

The marijuana industy in Canada is picking up and the future seems bright considering that tourists from around the world will have one more reason to visit Canada; however, some governments have already started asking their citizens to avoid cannabis while they are in Canada.

Three Asian governments are warning their citizens to refrain from marijuana. Japanese, South Korean, and Chinese governments are warning citizens not to use marijuana while they are in Canada.

Chinese consulate in Toronto issued a statement dated Friday reminding Chinese in its jurisdiction and students, in particular, “to avoid contact with and use of marijuana for the sake of ensuring your own physical and mental health.” Canada legalized the sale of recreational marijuana on Oct. 17.

The Chinese statement, posted on the consulate’s website, included a long explanation of the Canadian and provincial laws, advising them to read it carefully to avoid running afoul of the new regulations. Both Japan and South Korea warned their citizens in Canada ahead of the legalization.

The Japanese consulate in Vancouver warned on its website that Japanese laws outlawing the possession and sale of marijuana may be applied to actions taken abroad. “Japanese residents and travellers should take ample care to stay away from marijuana, including food and beverages that include marijuana,” the statement read in part.

South Korea held information sessions in Canada and used a government website and TV broadcasts to lay down the law for its citizens. “Even in a place where marijuana is legalized, if our citizens smoke, purchase, possess or deliver marijuana, it’s a criminal act, so they will be punished,” the embassy in Canada tweeted. “Please be careful.” Neither statement from Japan and South Korea explained how they might attempt to enforce their laws against smoking marijuana while abroad. Police and customs officials in South Korea did not answer calls seeking comment.

Both South Korea and Japan have very strict anti-drug laws. In Korea, smoking, buying, possessing or delivering marijuana is punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of up to 50 million won ($44,000).

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