Hamilton Morris traveled to South Africa to investigate Nyaope, a dangerous drug that’s made with efavirenz, an HIV medication.
Watch: Getting High on HIV Medication

Hamilton Morris traveled to South Africa to investigate Nyaope, a dangerous drug that’s made with efavirenz, an HIV medication.

Watch: Getting High on HIV Medication

I Do Drugs Because Doing Drugs Is Fun
Like any good British girl, I can sit and down pills till the hallucinatory cows come home. But if I have to read one more nonsense story about some celebrity checking into rehab after trying one bump of coke, I’m actually going to break into the Daily Mail’s headquarters and shit and piss on their computers so that they can’t print any more fucking shit and piss about people taking drugs.
The English actor Michael Le Vell had a tough time last year. He was suspended from the soap opera, Coronation Street, while on trial for child sex charges and has since been found not guilty. Recently, he was suspended again after he admitted to doing coke—as in the refreshing white stuff, not the syrup that rots babies if you pour it over them. Michael told the Sunday Mirror that he first tried coke during the stressful lead up to his trial, “For a few brief minutes, the first time was a relief from everything that was going on. Afterwards I felt so ashamed and I never thought I’d do it again. But I did it once more after the trial… I never thought that I was the sort of guy who would like cocaine.”
Seriously, how much bullshit was that statement cut with? I don’t know, maybe Michael “I never thought that I was the sort of guy who would like cocaine” Le Vell really does look down on people who take drugs. Maybe he’s just playing sad boy for the media. Who knows? We’re about as capable of knowing how much crap his statement contains as we are of knowing how much levamisole was in last weekend’s bag of sniff. (Answer: always far, far too much.)
I have no doubt that Michael—and other recent cocaine apologists, such as Nigella Lawson, Demi Lovato, and Jim Davidson—have felt pain in their lives, and that truly sucks. But are we really supposed to believe that people only do coke when they’re in mourning, or in abusive relationships, or on trial for child-sex charges? Could it be that some people do a fat line of coke simply because they love a fat line of coke?
Continue

I Do Drugs Because Doing Drugs Is Fun

Like any good British girl, I can sit and down pills till the hallucinatory cows come home. But if I have to read one more nonsense story about some celebrity checking into rehab after trying one bump of coke, I’m actually going to break into the Daily Mail’s headquarters and shit and piss on their computers so that they can’t print any more fucking shit and piss about people taking drugs.

The English actor Michael Le Vell had a tough time last year. He was suspended from the soap opera, Coronation Street, while on trial for child sex charges and has since been found not guilty. Recently, he was suspended again after he admitted to doing coke—as in the refreshing white stuff, not the syrup that rots babies if you pour it over them. Michael told the Sunday Mirror that he first tried coke during the stressful lead up to his trial, “For a few brief minutes, the first time was a relief from everything that was going on. Afterwards I felt so ashamed and I never thought I’d do it again. But I did it once more after the trial… I never thought that I was the sort of guy who would like cocaine.”

Seriously, how much bullshit was that statement cut with? I don’t know, maybe Michael “I never thought that I was the sort of guy who would like cocaine” Le Vell really does look down on people who take drugs. Maybe he’s just playing sad boy for the media. Who knows? We’re about as capable of knowing how much crap his statement contains as we are of knowing how much levamisole was in last weekend’s bag of sniff. (Answer: always far, far too much.)

I have no doubt that Michael—and other recent cocaine apologists, such as Nigella Lawson, Demi Lovato, and Jim Davidson—have felt pain in their lives, and that truly sucks. But are we really supposed to believe that people only do coke when they’re in mourning, or in abusive relationships, or on trial for child-sex charges? Could it be that some people do a fat line of coke simply because they love a fat line of coke?

Continue

I Saw the Future of Pot at Seattle’s Hempfest
It’s been a good year for pot lovers. The new recreational weed laws Washington and Colorado passed last November have taken effect. Illinois just became the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana. An industry eager to help users find and ingest their favorite strain grows larger and more legitimate by the day. And the federal government—which still outlaws producing, selling, and using pot—has yet to pull the plug.
So naturally, the vibe at the 22nd annual Hempfest—the massive pot pageant held in Seattle, Washington, this past weekend—was 100 percent celebratory. Sure, there were the usual activists calling for an end to federal prohibition. But the real business of the three-day weed-stravaganza was to make a leisurely victory lap to mark the state’s recent legalization of recreational ganja.
The scene at this so-called protestival, was fairly predictable, especially if you’ve spent time at freakier potcentric scenes like Phish or Grateful Dead concerts (events I’ve been to more times than I’d like to admit). Teens and seniors alike crowded Seattle’s downtown waterfront park to shop, dance, take in the sun, make a statement, people watch, and light up.
To answer your question, yes, there were bongs available for purchase.

Half a dozen stages featured an endless loop of reggae and cosmogroove (yes, that is a real genre). Speakers gushed excitedly about the beginning of the end of prohibition and the remaining work to be done. Vapes, pipes, bongs, grinders, memorabilia, and munchies spilled from hundreds of vendor booths. Pot leaves embellished stages, products, business cards, T-shirts, and port-a-potties. Even Ken Kesey’s legendary Further bus made an appearance. Everywhere I looked, someone was firing up a joint, pipe, or bong.
Continue

I Saw the Future of Pot at Seattle’s Hempfest

It’s been a good year for pot lovers. The new recreational weed laws Washington and Colorado passed last November have taken effect. Illinois just became the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana. An industry eager to help users find and ingest their favorite strain grows larger and more legitimate by the day. And the federal government—which still outlaws producing, selling, and using pot—has yet to pull the plug.

So naturally, the vibe at the 22nd annual Hempfest—the massive pot pageant held in Seattle, Washington, this past weekend—was 100 percent celebratory. Sure, there were the usual activists calling for an end to federal prohibitionBut the real business of the three-day weed-stravaganza was to make a leisurely victory lap to mark the state’s recent legalization of recreational ganja.

The scene at this so-called protestival, was fairly predictable, especially if you’ve spent time at freakier potcentric scenes like Phish or Grateful Dead concerts (events I’ve been to more times than I’d like to admit). Teens and seniors alike crowded Seattle’s downtown waterfront park to shop, dance, take in the sun, make a statement, people watch, and light up.


To answer your question, yes, there were bongs available for purchase.

Half a dozen stages featured an endless loop of reggae and cosmogroove (yes, that is a real genre). Speakers gushed excitedly about the beginning of the end of prohibition and the remaining work to be done. Vapes, pipes, bongs, grinders, memorabilia, and munchies spilled from hundreds of vendor booths. Pot leaves embellished stages, products, business cards, T-shirts, and port-a-potties. Even Ken Kesey’s legendary Further bus made an appearance. Everywhere I looked, someone was firing up a joint, pipe, or bong.

Continue

We Need to Talk About London’s Club Drug Problem
Dr. Owen Bowden-Jones is the founder of London’s Club Drug Clinic, started in 2011, which aims to provide aid to people who have “begun to experience problems with their use of recreational drugs.” After they were overwhelmed with users of ketamine, cocaine, ecstasy, and legal substances who wanted help, a second clinic was opened earlier this year.
Unlike heroin and crack, for which many rehabilitation and counselling services exist, party drugs often aren’t associated with bad things like addiction, losing your job, losing your mind, and ruining your life. Owen hopes that in addition to helping individual users, his clinics will spread understanding of the dangers of these relatively new drugs through the medical world.
I gave Owen a call to find out what he’s discovered from treating people.
VICE: Has drug use changed much in the UK in the past ten to 15 years?Owen Bowden-Jones: What we’ve seen are relatively major reductions in heroin and crack use and an increase in a new group of drugs called “club drugs”—things like ketamine, MDMA, and mephedrone.
I’m familiar with the category. What about the ways in which people take them?Actually, we’re finding that quite a few of these people are beginning to inject their drugs, especially mephedrone and ketamine. So all of the very real dangers that we used to see with heroin injecting, we’re now beginning to see with these newer club drugs.
Oh, dear. What are the drugs that cause the most problems?Here at the Club Drug Clinic, the four main drugs we’ve seen have been ketamine, GBL or GHB, crystal meth, and mephedrone. You can often determine the drug someone’s using [when they come in]. It seems to split along the lines of sexuality. We’re seeing a lot of gay men using crystal meth and GBL—for sex—while we’re seeing a lot of straight clubbers and students using ketamine and mephedrone. Interestingly, we’ve hardly seen anybody come into the clinic saying they’ve got a problem with MDMA or ecstasy—that just hasn’t happened.
Continue

We Need to Talk About London’s Club Drug Problem

Dr. Owen Bowden-Jones is the founder of London’s Club Drug Clinic, started in 2011, which aims to provide aid to people who have “begun to experience problems with their use of recreational drugs.” After they were overwhelmed with users of ketamine, cocaine, ecstasy, and legal substances who wanted help, a second clinic was opened earlier this year.

Unlike heroin and crack, for which many rehabilitation and counselling services exist, party drugs often aren’t associated with bad things like addiction, losing your job, losing your mind, and ruining your life. Owen hopes that in addition to helping individual users, his clinics will spread understanding of the dangers of these relatively new drugs through the medical world.

I gave Owen a call to find out what he’s discovered from treating people.

VICE: Has drug use changed much in the UK in the past ten to 15 years?
Owen Bowden-Jones: What we’ve seen are relatively major reductions in heroin and crack use and an increase in a new group of drugs called “club drugs”—things like ketamine, MDMA, and mephedrone.

I’m familiar with the category. What about the ways in which people take them?
Actually, we’re finding that quite a few of these people are beginning to inject their drugs, especially mephedrone and ketamine. So all of the very real dangers that we used to see with heroin injecting, we’re now beginning to see with these newer club drugs.

Oh, dear. What are the drugs that cause the most problems?
Here at the Club Drug Clinic, the four main drugs we’ve seen have been ketamine, GBL or GHB, crystal meth, and mephedrone. You can often determine the drug someone’s using [when they come in]. It seems to split along the lines of sexuality. We’re seeing a lot of gay men using crystal meth and GBL—for sex—while we’re seeing a lot of straight clubbers and students using ketamine and mephedrone. Interestingly, we’ve hardly seen anybody come into the clinic saying they’ve got a problem with MDMA or ecstasy—that just hasn’t happened.

Continue

It’s Good to Be the King – Arjan Roskam’s Cannabis Empire Is More Than Smoke & Mirrors
One afternoon this May, Arjan Roskam lounged on the deck of a 24-foot sport-fishing boat. He was speeding through a deep bay off the Caribbean coast of northwestern Colombia, keeping an eye on a line he’d cast a few minutes before. Arjan is 48 years old, well over six feet tall, and clean-shaven. He has the rough-hewn mien of a Dutchman, and possesses a piercing baritone that cuts through chatter like an oboe. He looks and sounds like a leader, one of those rare souls who was able to fulfill his destiny without compromising. He is the most recognizable and controversial figure in the business of marijuana, the self-styled and self-described “King of Cannabis.” 
I was traveling with Arjan through the mountains and jungles of Colombia, along with a crew of international pot growers he calls the “Strain Hunters.” We were searching for three exceptional but elusive varieties of marijuana that have remained genetically pure for decades. They have lyrical, almost mythic names that roll off the tongue: Limon Verde, Colombian Gold,  and  Punta Roja. The day before our jungle excursion, we’d found specimens of the latter two strains in a nearby marijuana grove maintained by paramilitary groups and local farmers. Arjan was elated. He had acquired the first two of the 200 or so landraces—strains of marijuana that have naturally developed in far-flung regions around the world—and he was hell-bent on getting them all.
Arjan and his breeders will grow thousands of plants from these landrace seeds, pick the strongest ones, and breed new commercial strains based on their exotic genetics. This is the first step in a long, intricate process that makes it possible for a local deliveryman to show up at your house with a backpack bouquet filled with varieties like Alaskan Ice, Bubba Kush, and White Widow. If you’ve ever been cornered by a bleary-eyed pot nerd at a party, you know that the reason we’re not all still smoking Thai stick and twiggy, seed-filled weed is because of the thousands of commercial breeders around the world mixing, cross-breeding, experimenting, and developing new flavors, effects, and qualities—all from what is essentially a common mountainside plant. 
Continue

It’s Good to Be the King – Arjan Roskam’s Cannabis Empire Is More Than Smoke & Mirrors

One afternoon this May, Arjan Roskam lounged on the deck of a 24-foot sport-fishing boat. He was speeding through a deep bay off the Caribbean coast of northwestern Colombia, keeping an eye on a line he’d cast a few minutes before. Arjan is 48 years old, well over six feet tall, and clean-shaven. He has the rough-hewn mien of a Dutchman, and possesses a piercing baritone that cuts through chatter like an oboe. He looks and sounds like a leader, one of those rare souls who was able to fulfill his destiny without compromising. He is the most recognizable and controversial figure in the business of marijuana, the self-styled and self-described “King of Cannabis.” 

I was traveling with Arjan through the mountains and jungles of Colombia, along with a crew of international pot growers he calls the “Strain Hunters.” We were searching for three exceptional but elusive varieties of marijuana that have remained genetically pure for decades. They have lyrical, almost mythic names that roll off the tongue: Limon Verde, Colombian Gold,  and  Punta Roja. The day before our jungle excursion, we’d found specimens of the latter two strains in a nearby marijuana grove maintained by paramilitary groups and local farmers. Arjan was elated. He had acquired the first two of the 200 or so landraces—strains of marijuana that have naturally developed in far-flung regions around the world—and he was hell-bent on getting them all.

Arjan and his breeders will grow thousands of plants from these landrace seeds, pick the strongest ones, and breed new commercial strains based on their exotic genetics. This is the first step in a long, intricate process that makes it possible for a local deliveryman to show up at your house with a backpack bouquet filled with varieties like Alaskan Ice, Bubba Kush, and White Widow. If you’ve ever been cornered by a bleary-eyed pot nerd at a party, you know that the reason we’re not all still smoking Thai stick and twiggy, seed-filled weed is because of the thousands of commercial breeders around the world mixing, cross-breeding, experimenting, and developing new flavors, effects, and qualities—all from what is essentially a common mountainside plant. 

Continue

I Used to be a Scientologist, Now I Help People Out of Cults by Smoking Weed
Dennis Erlich (pictured above, in a weird hat) was the original guy who exposed the craziness of Scientology on the internet. A member since 1967 and later a minister, he started to rebel against the church in the mid-80s. In the early 90s, he began issuing a newsletter called InFormer, exposing the secrets of Scientology.
 
He became the original internet censorship case in 1994 when he scanned pages of Scientology texts to an online newsgroup, telling the wider world about Thetans and Xenu for the very first time. In 1995 a federal judge permitted Scientologists to raid his house, a video of which can be seen here.
 
Since then he’s been helping people get back to normal life after being in cults, mainly through smoking marijuana. If you’ve just left a cult, his InFormer Ministry Collective is probably the best place to learn how real life works, whilst also learning how to get super stoned and grow your own weed.
 

 
VICE: When you were Minister in Scientology, were you aware you were in a cult?
Dennis Erlich: I thought I was part of a team that was saving the world.
 
What happened to change your mind?
In 1968 Hubbard established the Sea Org. They started sending their military missions into the organizations where I was in LA. The very first time these uniformed military types came into the organization they had all of us line up against a wall in the basement. Three uniformed, very fit individuals walked in. The tallest one opened up his jacket, revealing a .45 tucked under his arm. He pulled out a Nazi dagger, with a swastika on it, and flung it into the ceiling above him. Then said in a loud voice, “This organization is now under Sea-Org control.” We had to stay all night. A lot of the things in Scientology knock down the barrier that separates what you’re willing to accept and not. 
Continue

I Used to be a Scientologist, Now I Help People Out of Cults by Smoking Weed

Dennis Erlich (pictured above, in a weird hat) was the original guy who exposed the craziness of Scientology on the internet. A member since 1967 and later a minister, he started to rebel against the church in the mid-80s. In the early 90s, he began issuing a newsletter called InFormer, exposing the secrets of Scientology.
 
He became the original internet censorship case in 1994 when he scanned pages of Scientology texts to an online newsgroup, telling the wider world about Thetans and Xenu for the very first time. In 1995 a federal judge permitted Scientologists to raid his house, a video of which can be seen here.
 
Since then he’s been helping people get back to normal life after being in cults, mainly through smoking marijuana. If you’ve just left a cult, his InFormer Ministry Collective is probably the best place to learn how real life works, whilst also learning how to get super stoned and grow your own weed.
 
 
VICE: When you were Minister in Scientology, were you aware you were in a cult?
Dennis Erlich: I thought I was part of a team that was saving the world.
 
What happened to change your mind?
In 1968 Hubbard established the Sea Org. They started sending their military missions into the organizations where I was in LA. The very first time these uniformed military types came into the organization they had all of us line up against a wall in the basement. Three uniformed, very fit individuals walked in. The tallest one opened up his jacket, revealing a .45 tucked under his arm. He pulled out a Nazi dagger, with a swastika on it, and flung it into the ceiling above him. Then said in a loud voice, “This organization is now under Sea-Org control.” We had to stay all night. A lot of the things in Scientology knock down the barrier that separates what you’re willing to accept and not. 

Continue

Weediquette: Kings of Cannabis 
You might not know who Arjan Roskam is, but you’ve probably smoked his weed. Arjan’s been breeding some of the most famous marijuana strains in the world—like White Widow, Super Silver Haze, and many others—for over 20 years.In 1992 he opened his first coffee shop in Amsterdam and has since crafted his marijuana-breeding skills into a market-savvy empire known as Green House Seed Company, which rakes in millions of dollars a year.He’s won 38 Cannabis Cups, and has even dubbed himself the King of Cannabis.VICE joins Arjan and his crew of strain hunters in Colombia to look for three of the country’s rarest types of weed, strains that have remained genetically pure for decades. In grower’s terms, these are called “landraces.” We trudge up mountains and crisscross military checkpoints in the country’s still-violent south, and then head north to the breathtaking Caribbean coast. As the dominoes of criminalization fall throughout the world, Arjan is positioned to be at the forefront of the legitimate international seed trade.
Watch the video

Weediquette: Kings of Cannabis 

You might not know who Arjan Roskam is, but you’ve probably smoked his weed. Arjan’s been breeding some of the most famous marijuana strains in the world—like White Widow, Super Silver Haze, and many others—for over 20 years.

In 1992 he opened his first coffee shop in Amsterdam and has since crafted his marijuana-breeding skills into a market-savvy empire known as Green House Seed Company, which rakes in millions of dollars a year.

He’s won 38 Cannabis Cups, and has even dubbed himself the King of Cannabis.

VICE joins Arjan and his crew of strain hunters in Colombia to look for three of the country’s rarest types of weed, strains that have remained genetically pure for decades. In grower’s terms, these are called “landraces.” We trudge up mountains and crisscross military checkpoints in the country’s still-violent south, and then head north to the breathtaking Caribbean coast. As the dominoes of criminalization fall throughout the world, Arjan is positioned to be at the forefront of the legitimate international seed trade.

Watch the video

You might not know who Arjan Roskam is, but you’ve probably smoked his weed. Arjan’s been breeding some of the most famous marijuana strains in the world—like White Widow, Super Silver Haze, and many others—for over 20 years.In 1992 he opened his first coffee shop in Amsterdam and has since crafted his marijuana-breeding skills into a market-savvy empire known as Green House Seed Company, which rakes in millions of dollars a year.He’s won 38 Cannabis Cups, and has even dubbed himself the King of Cannabis.VICE joins Arjan and his crew of strain hunters in Colombia to look for three of the country’s rarest types of weed, strains that have remained genetically pure for decades. In grower’s terms, these are called “landraces.” We trudge up mountains and crisscross military checkpoints in the country’s still-violent south, and then head north to the breathtaking Caribbean coast. As the dominoes of criminalization fall throughout the world, Arjan is positioned to be at the forefront of the legitimate international seed trade.Check back Monday, July 29, for part one of Kings of Cannabis.
Watch the trailer

You might not know who Arjan Roskam is, but you’ve probably smoked his weed. Arjan’s been breeding some of the most famous marijuana strains in the world—like White Widow, Super Silver Haze, and many others—for over 20 years.

In 1992 he opened his first coffee shop in Amsterdam and has since crafted his marijuana-breeding skills into a market-savvy empire known as Green House Seed Company, which rakes in millions of dollars a year.

He’s won 38 Cannabis Cups, and has even dubbed himself the King of Cannabis.

VICE joins Arjan and his crew of strain hunters in Colombia to look for three of the country’s rarest types of weed, strains that have remained genetically pure for decades. In grower’s terms, these are called “landraces.” We trudge up mountains and crisscross military checkpoints in the country’s still-violent south, and then head north to the breathtaking Caribbean coast. As the dominoes of criminalization fall throughout the world, Arjan is positioned to be at the forefront of the legitimate international seed trade.

Check back Monday, July 29, for part one of Kings of Cannabis.

Watch the trailer

81 Years for Weed? 
Here’s how absurd the war on drugs has gotten: firstly, an activist from Keene, New Hampshire, is facing 81 years in prison for dealing marijuana; and secondly, even though he’s admitted on camera that he did sell about a pound of pot to an FBI informant, he’s still fighting the case in court in hopes the jury will acquit him.
The man’s name is Rich Paul, and his ordeal started last May, when he was arrested for selling weed and LSD (he claims he sold a legal chemical compound that wasn’t LSD). Instead of being charged with a crime, he wrote in a Facebook note about the incident and was taken to see an FBI agent named Philip Christiana, who threatened to throw the book at him unless he turned informer on his friends. According to Rich, Phil wanted him to wear a wire into meetings of a local political group he belonged to called the Keene Activist Center, lie to them about his arrest, and encourage them to commit crimes. Rich said no, and shared his story with the public—even going so far as to explain on video that he had been busted after selling ounces of weed to a confidential informant on multiple occasions.
There are several odd things about this trial, which started today. (Follow live updates through this Facebook page.) First, it’s not clear why the FBI, or this particular agent, was so keen, pun intended, to go after the KAC. Although the organization is “liberty-minded” (in other words, not fans of the police or other forms of government), it’s also explicitly nonviolent. Those kind of libertarian/anarchist/whatever-you-want-to-call-it politics are common in New Hampshire—in fact, groups like the Shire Society and the Free State Project encourage people who are tired of being hassled by the Man to move to the state, and the Keene area in particular. Acts of civil disobedience by the KAC and other activists are relatively common; Rich himself organized 4:20 PM “smoke-ins” at Keene’s Central Square to protest drug-prohibition laws.
In an email to me late last night, Rich said that his prosecution is an outlier. “Local law enforcement in Keene has always been extremely respectful, courteous and professional. Many of them, I will not say which, sympathize with us on many of our concerns, though most do not condone civil disobedience,” he wrote.
Continue

81 Years for Weed? 

Here’s how absurd the war on drugs has gotten: firstly, an activist from Keene, New Hampshire, is facing 81 years in prison for dealing marijuana; and secondly, even though he’s admitted on camera that he did sell about a pound of pot to an FBI informant, he’s still fighting the case in court in hopes the jury will acquit him.

The man’s name is Rich Paul, and his ordeal started last May, when he was arrested for selling weed and LSD (he claims he sold a legal chemical compound that wasn’t LSD). Instead of being charged with a crime, he wrote in a Facebook note about the incident and was taken to see an FBI agent named Philip Christiana, who threatened to throw the book at him unless he turned informer on his friends. According to Rich, Phil wanted him to wear a wire into meetings of a local political group he belonged to called the Keene Activist Center, lie to them about his arrest, and encourage them to commit crimes. Rich said no, and shared his story with the public—even going so far as to explain on video that he had been busted after selling ounces of weed to a confidential informant on multiple occasions.

There are several odd things about this trial, which started today. (Follow live updates through this Facebook page.) First, it’s not clear why the FBI, or this particular agent, was so keen, pun intended, to go after the KAC. Although the organization is “liberty-minded” (in other words, not fans of the police or other forms of government), it’s also explicitly nonviolent. Those kind of libertarian/anarchist/whatever-you-want-to-call-it politics are common in New Hampshire—in fact, groups like the Shire Society and the Free State Project encourage people who are tired of being hassled by the Man to move to the state, and the Keene area in particular. Acts of civil disobedience by the KAC and other activists are relatively common; Rich himself organized 4:20 PM “smoke-ins” at Keene’s Central Square to protest drug-prohibition laws.

In an email to me late last night, Rich said that his prosecution is an outlier. “Local law enforcement in Keene has always been extremely respectful, courteous and professional. Many of them, I will not say which, sympathize with us on many of our concerns, though most do not condone civil disobedience,” he wrote.

Continue

North Korea Smokes a Lot of Weed
Long-time VICE contributor Alex Hoban has been covering North Korea for us for years, but it turned out he had so much to say on the topic he decided to start a news site dedicated to the country. NK NEWS is the result, and since its relaunched last September it’s been running great daily stories like the one we’re featuring here by Ben Young. So go check out the site, follow them on Twitter, and, if you’re feeling super daring, they’ve also got this mysterious sign-up sheet that offers you a chance to join them on their next adventure inside the hermit kingdom.

North Korea, the most tight-lipped, conservative, and controlling country in the world is also a weed-smoker’s paradise. Despite the government’s deadly serious stance on the use and distribution of hard drugs like crystal meth (which has a notorious legacy in the country), marijuana is reportedly not considered a drug. As a result, it’s the discerning North Korean gentleman’s roll-up of choice, suggesting that, for weed smokers at least, North Korea might just be paradise after all.
NK NEWS receives regular reports from visitors returning from North Korea, who tell us of marijuana plants growing freely along the roadsides, from the northern port town of Chongjin, right down to the streets of Pyongyang, where it is smoked freely and its sweet scent often catches your nostrils unannounced. Our sources are people we know who work inside North Korea and make regular trips in and out of the country.
There is no taboo around pot smoking in the country—many residents know the drug exists and have smoked it. In North Korea, the drug goes by the name of ip tambae, or “leaf tobacco.” It is reported to be especially popular amongst young soldiers in the North Korean military. Rather than getting hooked on tar and nicotine like servicemen in the West, they are able to unwind by lighting up a king-sized bone during down time on the military beat.Despite the fact the government doesn’t crack down on the use of marijuana (or opium) and its prevalence among the common people, traveling weed enthusiasts eager to sample some NK bud will likely be disappointed. If a Western tourist asks his or her guide where is the best place to get the “special plant,” as it is euphemistically referred to, the guide will most likely eschew the question. Most of them are educated enough in Western legal attitudes toward marijuana to not feel the need to promote anything that might attract negative press. Then again, bring them a bottle of Hennessy and they might be more willing to help you out.

Continue

North Korea Smokes a Lot of Weed

Long-time VICE contributor Alex Hoban has been covering North Korea for us for years, but it turned out he had so much to say on the topic he decided to start a news site dedicated to the country. NK NEWS is the result, and since its relaunched last September it’s been running great daily stories like the one we’re featuring here by Ben Young. So go check out the site, follow them on Twitter, and, if you’re feeling super daring, they’ve also got this mysterious sign-up sheet that offers you a chance to join them on their next adventure inside the hermit kingdom.

North Korea, the most tight-lipped, conservative, and controlling country in the world is also a weed-smoker’s paradise. Despite the government’s deadly serious stance on the use and distribution of hard drugs like crystal meth (which has a notorious legacy in the country), marijuana is reportedly not considered a drug. As a result, it’s the discerning North Korean gentleman’s roll-up of choice, suggesting that, for weed smokers at least, North Korea might just be paradise after all.

NK NEWS receives regular reports from visitors returning from North Korea, who tell us of marijuana plants growing freely along the roadsides, from the northern port town of Chongjin, right down to the streets of Pyongyang, where it is smoked freely and its sweet scent often catches your nostrils unannounced. Our sources are people we know who work inside North Korea and make regular trips in and out of the country.

There is no taboo around pot smoking in the country—many residents know the drug exists and have smoked it. In North Korea, the drug goes by the name of ip tambae, or “leaf tobacco.” It is reported to be especially popular amongst young soldiers in the North Korean military. Rather than getting hooked on tar and nicotine like servicemen in the West, they are able to unwind by lighting up a king-sized bone during down time on the military beat.



Despite the fact the government doesn’t crack down on the use of marijuana (or opium) and its prevalence among the common people, traveling weed enthusiasts eager to sample some NK bud will likely be disappointed. If a Western tourist asks his or her guide where is the best place to get the “special plant,” as it is euphemistically referred to, the guide will most likely eschew the question. Most of them are educated enough in Western legal attitudes toward marijuana to not feel the need to promote anything that might attract negative press. Then again, bring them a bottle of Hennessy and they might be more willing to help you out.

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