The JoongAng Ilbo warns that new sorts of drugs are making their way to Korea.
Last month, some Korean-American woman by the name of Kang came to Korea with some marijuana cookies and hash oil. They got through customs OK, but when Kang’s friend had some cookies—not knowing their secret ingredient—she got a tummy ache and went to the hospital, where she learned she’d been drugged.
Kang got busted. Bummer.
According to the JoongAng, new drug forms are spreading in Korea, mostly thanks to the efforts of overseas Koreans (i.e., gyopo) and Koreans who have studied overseas. Customs officials have been launching a wide crackdown since June.
One major target has been “bath salts.” There have been 11 bath salt-related busts since last year.
Apparently, peyote has been going around, too.
According to those in the know, these drugs are being traded in clubs and entertainment establishments in—wait for it, wait for it—Hondae and Itaewon, where there are lots of Koreans exchange students buying and selling gear.
Don’t be disappointed, though—there are “foreign” foreigners dealin’, too. JoongAng reporters went to Daehangno’s Marronier Park—Marronier Park for Christ’s sake!—where they met a Southeast Asian fellow. When they asked said fellow if he had some “new pot,” he responded, “How much?”
The government is always late to respond to new drug forms, complain the JoongAng, because it designates illegal drugs only after they’ve already spread. To get something listed as an illegal drug is a legislative process that takes about a six months to a year. They introduced a new system that allows the government to temporarily designate new drugs right away, but the problem persists.
Some police administration professor at Dongguk University told the JoongAng that crackdowns alone won’t allow the government to catch up with new drugs, and that the police and Health Ministry need to build a intel-sharing hotline with the United States and Europe.