It's obvious that not everyone agrees with Canada's decision to legalize recreational marijuana. To each their own, right? Well, not in these cases.
READ MORE: Yes Pot Is Legal In Canada, But These Things Are Definitely Not
Recently, three countries have announced that they don't want their citizens to have anything to do with legal pot in Canada. Because of this, they're committed to penalizing any of their passport-holders who do.
Visitors from South Korea, Japan, and the US are more than welcome to use cannabis while they're on Canadian soil. But, that doesn't mean they won't be punished by their own country when they get home.
The South Korean justice system has claimed extraterritorial jurisdiction, which means that the laws there apply to its citizens even when they're in another country. Since marijuana is illegal there, it's illegal for South Koreans here, too.
Last week, hours before cannabis became legal in Canada, the South Korean embassy in Ottawa tweeted out a friendly reminder to residents visiting Canada. It translates into, "Even if you are in a cannabis legalization area, please be aware that if you are a citizen [who partakes in] cannabis smoking (including purchase, possession or transportation), you will be penalized for committing a criminal offence."
[대마초 합법화에 따른 주의사항 안내] 내일부터 캐나다 전역에서 여가용 대마초 합법화 법안이 발효됩니다. 대마초 합법화 지역이라 할지라도, 우리 국민이 대마초 흡연(구매, 소지, 운반 포함)을 할 경우 범법행위에 해당하여 처벌받게 되니 불이익을 받는 일이 없도록 주의하시기 바랍니다.— 주캐나다대한민국대사관 (@koremb_canada) October 16, 2018
Their foreign affairs ministry warned that getting caught with marijuana could lead to serious legal consequences. This includes possible jail time or hefty fines. They also said in a Facebook post that South Koreans re-entering the country from Canada could expect increased inspections to their belongings.
The Consulate-General of Japan in Vancouver has issued similar warnings to their residents who are visiting Canada. They stated that their ban of purchasing cannabis “may be applied not only in Japan but also in foreign countries.”
The use and possession of pot under Japanese law could result in up to five years in jail along with a fine. If someone's caught growing, selling or transporting marijuana, they could be sentenced to seven to 10 years and also be hit with a fine.
The United States
While some states allow the medical and recreational uses of marijuana, according to federal law, the drug is illegal. This means that Canadians, as well as Americans trying to cross the border into the US, are going to be grilled now that it's legal here in Canada.
If a border patrol officer has any inkling that someone crossing the border has smoked or purchases legal pot in Canada, they can take action.
Canadians can reportedly be banned from the US for life if they admit to smoking pot. While they obviously won't ban their own residents, Americans who do cross the border into their own country could be subject to extensive searches and interviews.
Americans who might be thinking about visiting Canada and bringing home a dime-bag souvenier should think again. At the very minimum, they could have their pot confiscated - however, punishments could also include years in jail and stiff fines.
While the US could one day legalize marijuana, and South Korea has toyed around with the idea of medical marijuana legalization themselves, that isn't the case just yet. In Japan, the drug is still highly stigmatized.
Long story short, if citizens of South Korea, Japan, and the US want to go back home without any jail time or fines to look forward to, they should keep their Canadian cannabis use on the DL.
More from the Canadian Cannabis Legalization series:
- A Neighbourhood In Toronto Just Completely Banned Smoking Marijuana In Public
- Canada Post Workers Are Prepared To Strike On Monday And Now People Are Freaking Out About Not Getting Their Weed
- The Toronto Neighbourhood With The Most Pot Smokers Was Just Revealed And It's Not At All Where You Thought It Would Be
- This Is What You Need To Know For Marijuana Use By Province In Canada After October 17th
- The Canadian Province With The Most Pot Smokers Was Just Revealed And It's Not At All Who You Thought It Would Be