Brickbat: Smoking Them Out


Petrajz /

The South Korean government says its laws apply in other countries, at least with regard to its citizens. Officials have warned South Koreans living and visiting Canada not to partake of the newly legalized marijuana there. Police say they will charge anyone they catch under South Korean law. Those found guilty face up to five years in prison.

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  1. The United States was the first country to assert this kind of extraterritorial jurisdiction over its citizens, with its law against “sex tourism”. I don’t think anyone seriously believed it would end there.

    1. I was just going to mention that! “Are we so much better?”

      But, in fact, I was going to mention it just as an afterthought. We actually crossed that Rubicon much, much earlier–over 40 years ago. The wake of Watergate was in many ways a great time for this country, with a raft of anticorruption, transparency, and other efforts to rein in the increasingly frightening reach of government and make it more accountable to the people. After several mythical “great men” as President, and the peak of the asinine “bipartisan comity” consensus that everyone mythologizes nowadays (it was actually quite anomalous in our history), our faith in government and in benevolent leadership took a permanent hit. Nothing would be the same, in terms of growing the current cynicism that “presidential historians” so pompously decry. And there was even a brief, rare rollback of the runaway reach of the executive branch for the only time postwar…

      1. …Not all was hearts and flowers, though. One of the anticorruption “reforms” was the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. (The (very pro-FCPA) Frontline special “Dark Money” is not a bad documentary on the subject.) It made it illegal for American nationals, or agents of American companies, to bribe foreign officials–on foreign soil! It was the first such law in human history, and became a well-entrenched peculiarity of American international political culture. (The EU would only follow decades later, with a largely toothless law; whereas the Americans have always been dead serious and incredibly aggressive about enforcement.) This is not only an abomination in principle; many countries do not even have a sufficient rule-of-law culture that there is an obvious answer as to when one is bribing an official. When exactly is one “bribing” a Saudi prince-businessman? This only highlights the conceptual–not just the moral–ridiculousness of the law. It’s worse than “structuring.” We’re far further gone, for far longer, than kiddie diddling.

        1. ^^^This. Saudia Arabia was famous for a country that you had to hire the “the right prince” in order to sell product there. Was it a bribe? Of course it was. And there were the debates over whether or not it was mordida or grease in Mexico. Grease was okay but mordida was wrong.

          1. Do I go to jail for bribing a Mexican cop to let me go?

      2. We crossed the Rubicon 100+ years ago when we started taxing citizens (and green card holders) on foreign income even when they are resident abroad. That was a bit more usual among major colonial countries then – but we are now holding hands with Eritrea as the last two countries to do that.

        Far more significantly, we now also massively punish foreign banks in foreign countries for doing any business at all with American citizens overseas. Either they report all business they do with individual Americans overseas to the IRS – or they can no longer use dollars as a reserve currency.

        1. I was actually going to mention that just after I finished typing this up. But I thought I’d said enough; and I figured someone else would bring it up too. Just think of my statement as having focused on criminal law.

    2. The UK will bring cases to court when an adult diagnosed with a mental illness has sex. For example, an woman diagnosed with autism had sex with several men. The article about it said:

      She was also taken to shisha bars and on numerous occasions had sex in public, including in a taxi and at the back of a bowling alley, because the carers paid by Manchester City Council to look after her would not intervene.

      The arrangement only came to an end last month when Manchester City Council returned to the Court of Protection to alter the terms of her care plan.

      In a report to the court last month a psychiatrist warned that allowing her to continue to be exposed to such a “high level of risk” was unacceptable, unprofessional and might lead to “sexual abuse, violence, injury or death”.

      The National Autistic Society has called for “urgent lessons” to be drawn from the case, saying that while autistic people have a right to a sex life, “the responsibility to keep people safe falls on those in positions of care, like the courts, councils and support providers” and that “its essential safeguarding measures are followed meticulously”.

      What does federal law say about an American who meets a mad woman online and flies to the UK to bring her to Paris for some hot dates and a weekend of shagging?

      1. So, they’re saying an autistic woman can’t consent to sex, that that has to be run by government agents?


      2. So, in the UK, an autistic person can’t consent to sex, that that has to be approved by government agents?


        1. FN server squirrels.

  2. …the drug was common in music and artistic circles in the 1960s and 1970s, where many took to “happy smoke”, as it was commonly called at the time, for inspiration.

    Take away the herb as muse and you know what you’re left with? K-pop.

    1. If I was stuck looking at pothead “artistic” chicks for inspiration instead of K-pop artists, I don’t think my drug use would have stopped anywhere near weed.

      1. Tell Tattaum I said, “Hi.”

    2. What monsters would want to take away Happy Smoke?

  3. Do the South Koreans have undercover agents in Canada looking for people to pop? Do they force Canadian pot sellers to report South Korean citizens buying pot? I’m pretty sure the US has tons of agents in other countries and goes so far as to impress foreign employees of foreign banks to act as agents of the US government. And to think we went to war with the Brits over the issue of impressment.

    1. “…goes so far as to impress foreign employees of foreign banks to act as agents of the US government”

      Damned straight, and good point! You beat me to it!

    2. Facebook

  4. If I’m a South Korean National living in Vancouver I would ask the Canadians for asylum there. Fuck South Korea.

    1. Oh crap, does this mean we’re going to have a horde of chronics applying for refugee status.

      Thanks Prime Minister Zoolander.

  5. Also, the USA makes you pay USA income taxes (above and beyond, say, North Korean income taxes) if you as a USA citizen live and work in North Korea. Yet ANOTHER example of NOT being able to live beyond the Long Arm of the USA Government Almighty! USA feels the need to “pile on” on top of you, along with, alongside, in partnership with, North Korea, for example!

    And then if you tire of that, USA Government Almighty makes you PAY thousands of dollars to renounce your American citizenship!!!

  6. So, South Koreans travelling abroad are subject to the jurisdiction of South Korea

    1. Not exactly a great article for Reason’s take on the 14th.
      Kinda contradicts it

      1. Huh? What does the 14A have to do with South Koreans in Canada?

    2. As well as the jurisdiction of the country they’re visiting. Kinds sucks, really.

  7. Darn it, South Korea. You should be *better* than the U.S.! Set a good example.

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