Liquid marijuana use on surge in S. Korea

2019.04.09 11:58:06 | 2019.04.09 13:39:11

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Marijuana in liquid form that emits no odor has emerged as a new type of illegal drug alluring the rich and young in South Korea.

It has made news after police busted a number of scions of chaebol families including a grandson of SK Group founder for vaping marijuana.

In 2018, prosecution and police confiscated total 133 cartridges of liquid cannabis, which could hold total 1,995 grams of the synthetic substance or equivalent to 266 single doses, according to the Supreme Prosecutors` Office on Monday.

The volume is a threefold jump from 2017 when the country’s narcotics control unit caught illegal import of 45 cartridges of liquid cannabis (683 grams) for the first time.

Liquid marijuana, which is a colorless, odorless and tasteless form of synthetic marijuana, is usually sold in cartridges or small bottles and vaped through a device similar to an e-cigarette.

It is reported that the narcotic is traded at up to 200,000 won ($175) per gram in Korea, which is four times more expensive than pure gold. Despite the cost, liquid marijuana has become increasingly popular because it is harder to be detected.

Of the 34 cases convicted for smuggling liquid marijuana to Korea over the last two years, 30 were found to have used the international mail last year. Meanwhile, the number of drug offenders in Korea surged 43.6 percent to 5,334 in 2017 from 3,713 in 2014.

By Song Gwang-sup and Cho Jeehyun

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