July 9, 2015
Whoa! Hi everyone! I’m writing this as it’s 6:30AM here in Vancouver. I woke up at midnight after landing the day before, and I’m jet lagged as all hell. My day’s half done. I’m gonna call it a day at, say, 2PM. Back to sleep for me!
But we filmed this TL;DR before we left. It’s gonna be our last TL;DR in a while, I think. We didn’t film that many more in advance. We did film a bunch of FAPFAPs, WANKs, WTFs, and Speaker’s Corners, though! So there’s a small update on the schedule.
Now, back to talking about druggies. Ha! You know, it’s odd how often people ask us about drugs, not because they want us to research drug use in Korea, but because they think we’re drug users. Surprisingly for many, we’re not. And it’s not for ethical or religious reasons, or because we’re afraid of drugs. It’s just not something we ever actively sought out. We have friends who are responsible drug users, so we’re not under the impression that all drug users are dumb and speak with long drawls and don’t have their shit together. That’s just not true. That’s just how they’re depicted in media.
Anyhow, this is a long conversation that has heated arguments on either sides. In Korea, though, it doesn’t really seem like it’s at all accepted. Marijuana is starting to be legalized in some parts of the US. Other drugs are decriminalized in parts of Europe. That talk isn’t happening in Korea, though. It’s very taboo. Hell: G-Dragon did some weed in Japan and it was all over the news in Korea, for some reason.
We didn’t actually talk about this in our video, but we have a very close Korean friend who had to flee the country because of her drug use in Korea. The police called her in for a drug test after her dealer was arrested and gave up all of his contacts, so our friend hopped on the next plane out of the country and has never lived in Korea since. She’s in a pretty high ranking position overseas now, and went to one of the SKY Universities here in Korea, but had to leave her family and education behind because her career would have been ruined in Korea. Interesting, no?
Otherwise, I’m sure that some people are going to watch this video with significantly more drug use in Korea experience than we have, and probably will be able to say a lot more on the matter, which is where we usually ask at the end of our TL;DRs for people to share their experiences, though I doubt they’ll, ugh, want to share their stories in a public forum like this. Like, we can’t say “Hey Korean Drug Users: let us know your drug stories! The police aren’t reading this! For really reals!” So my apologies to you if our research doesn’t align with your experience. We can all agree, though, that drugs use is far less tolerated and far less common here in Korea than in North America, right?
On that note, here’s a list of some other famous Korean people who were busted for drugs:
Olympics swimmer Park Tae-Hwan (aka “Marine Boy”)
High levels of testosterone were found in his system when he failed his doping test. The main substance found was Nebido, which is banned in Korea, and this was supposedly given by his dermatologist without his knowing. Park is now on an 18-month prohibition, ruled by the International Swimming Federation.
A long time ago, Psy openly admitted to smoking marijuana after his first album back in 2001. He was banned from being on TV after that; however, Psy regained his trust and fans back when a reporter spotted him during the 2002 World Cup and asked him to sing a song for a program. Now he’s Korea’s pop Jesus after Gangnam Style so not much mention of his drug use anymore.
Bumkey, one of our favourite artists in Korea, was supposed to be sentenced to five years in prison for distributing and using Philopon and ecstasy, but the last I read of it the charges were dropped because there wasn’t enough evidence. Sure, maybe there wasn’t enough, but there was some though, right? But more importantly: METH!?!! BUMKEY COME ON, METH?!?! I know I mentioned responsible drug using friends, but they stay the hell away from meth. METH: NOT EVEN ONCE!
This is another one that’s kinda vague, so I’m not sure how the case has developed recently, but on June 22nd, a well-known YG business promoter was arrested at Incheon airport for using cocaine. The promoter tested positive when a hair follicle drug test was conducted, and the police found marijuana while searching the promoter’s house. The prosecutor’s office believes A and 5 well-known K-pop stars did drugs together. A is known for being friends with Big Bang, 2NE1 and others. According to YG, the promoter is not an official YG employee. Still, though: you don’t hear much about coke in Korea.
Crown J was arrested for use of marijuana back in 2010. The court hit him with two years of probation, and an additional fine in June of 2011. Crown J supposedly said he smoked marijuana to get along with the people he needed to approach for his music career when he was in the US. He also said he hasn’t used any drugs besides marijuana. In June 2015, Crown J made a comeback after 5 years of reflection, though I haven’t heard much about it. Is it safe to say that his career…puts on sunglasses…went up in smoke? YEAAAAAHHHHH!!! Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
So that’s it for this post. I’m sure there are other famous people in Korea that got busted. Those are the ones that I can remember off the top of my head.
And now, off we go to Seattle! Oh, the irony of our road trip with the release of this video isn’t lost on me…