China and Japan have joined South Korea in the ranks of Asian countries who have warned citizens against using cannabis while traveling or living in Canada.
South Korea first reaffirmed its no-tolerance policy last week in a tweet by its embassy in Vancouver, British Columbia. In that message, South Korean officials warned citizens that — if they partake while traveling, studying, or otherwise living in Canada — they could be prosecuted under South Korean law upon returning home.
Japan issued a similar warning, with the country’s consulate in Vancouver posting an update to its website warning that Japanese drug laws could be applied retroactively to citizens returning home from abroad, and that “Japanese residents and travelers should take ample care to stay away from marijuana, including food and beverages that include marijuana.”
China followed a similar route but stopped short of threatening prosecution for drug crimes against citizens for actions they take while abroad. The Chinese consulate in Toronto issued a statement warning its citizens — particularly students — that they should “avoid contact with and use of marijuana for the sake of ensuring your own physical and mental health.”
All three countries still enforce strict anti-cannabis drug laws. In South Korea, for example, cannabis possession and/or consumption is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of up to 50 million won (about $44,000).