SEOUL, Aug. 29 (Korea Bizwire) – With an increasing number of states in the U.S. legalizing the sale and consumption of marijuana, attempts to smuggle the illicit substance into South Korea are increasing.
According to Incheon Main Customs (IMC), 181 attempts (18kg) were reported between January and July of this year, which was 2.8 times greater than the 63 attempts (4kg) from the same period last year.
It is illegal for any South Korean national to consume marijuana, or for anyone, Korean or non-Korean, to bring marijuana into the country.
Customs authorities in South Korea are sounding the alarm, as recreational marijuana is to be legalized in Canada this coming October for anyone aged 18 or above. This is even lower than the legal age of 21 in eight U.S. states.
Starting September 1, IMC will strengthen its screening of international shipping and traveler luggage, with tighter scrutiny over travelers’ port of origin.
Customs agents will also use canine units, high-tech devices and collaborate with foreign agencies such as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to thwart any attempts to bring illicit drugs into the country.
By Joey Yoo (email@example.com)