Japan and South Korea threaten to arrest those deviating, while China issues advisory
BEIJING – Marijuana may be legal now in Canada but at least three Asian governments are warning their citizens to avoid it, including the spectre of possible arrest for Japanese and South Koreans.
China, the latest to weigh in, didn’t go that far. Its consulate in Toronto issued a statement on 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 legalised the sale of recreational marijuana on October 17.
The Chinese statement, posted on the consulate’s website, included an 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 legalisation. 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.
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 legalised, if our citizens smoke, purchase, possess or deliver marijuana, it’s a criminal act and so they will be punished,” the embassy in Canada tweeted.