The Republic of South Korea is one of the 2 Asian countries that authorize the selling and consumption of medicinal cannabis. The move was made to help folks in treating some health conditions. The law was made in effect on March 12 that would open to the THC-CBD- based medications.
The new law will open the gate to a traditionally-conventional culture of South Koreans. In the past, the country has stricter rules about handling and using cannabis, opposing Canada’s more relaxed law.
Long before the amendment of South Korea law, more dangerous drugs such as cocaine and morphine, with undefined medical value and effects, were available to medical doctors and patients in South Korea for decades.
On the other hand, methamphetamine- a recreational drug- is easily accessible in North Korea. The government has mass-produced this drug for overseas revenue and is transported to China, then to South Korea and other countries.
South Korea’s View about Cannabis
Marijuana negatively impacts South Koreans; it is even considered a Class A drug and heroin and crystal meth.
This negative impression was caused by a former government official- Park Chung-hee, who raised propaganda against cannabis, which was brought by the absence of information and proper education. This propaganda was successful in raising fear and stigma against marijuana.
The negative publicity viewed cannabis as a narcotic drug rather than as a plant with many health potentials.
North Gyeongsang Province- Hemp Cultivation Site
Along with South Korea’s move to ratify the cannabis law, the South Korean government has identified the Hemp cultivation site. The North Gyeongsang Province will be cultivated to become the Special Industrial Hemp Free Zone that will only be using advanced smart farming.
The main focus in cultivating cannabis in the country is to set the guidelines for the balanced industrialization of medical cannabis rather than cannabis importation. Currently, cannabis is available through the Korean Orphan Drug Center, a unit responsible for giving patients rare treatments.
The government aims to improve hemp extraction and operational processes following the set guidelines in export-oriented production.
Future of Cannabis in South Korea
The medical cannabis development is relatively slow so far, but the government is hopeful that the recent move will benefit both the government and its people. This expansion will help those patients with relatively rare treatments.
The future of permitting recreational marijuana in South Korea may look blurry because the focus of the government is to improve the supervision of domestic manufacturing and production in the next few years.
The hope of widely accepting cannabis as one alternative medicine in the future depends on educating the population and overcoming the social stigma associated with this unique plant.