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The hermit kingdom of North Korea is shrouded in controversy, gossip, and enigma. It’s difficult to identify fact from fiction, although we learn about the barbarous regime on the news. George W. Bush called it the “axis of evil” and Condoleeza Rice referred to it as an “outpost of tyranny.” On the flip side, Dennis Rodman can’t get enough of the area. It’s most isolated nations, cut off from the global internet revolution and many contacts with the external world. Terrible human rights breaches make many ethical tourists stay away, but more and more travelers are exploring this secret nation on limited state-controlled tours, so minor details about the country are emerging. James Franco and Seth Rogen’s comedy The Interview depicted a kooky fictionalized version the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and its cultish leader Kim Jong-un, but in fact, it’s much more outrageous (and frightening) than that. Take a look at these wild facts about North Korea and have your head blown.

1. Marijuana Is Legal There

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Who knew North Korea was a country of stoners? Contrary to our notion of the state being the most old-fashioned, restrictive, commanding state in the world, it’s fairly progressive in regards to pot. There isn’t any law against the sale or consumption of cannabis in North Korea. “Leaf tobacco” is and seemingly cannabis grows by the roadside through the state. It’s not unusual to smell the aroma of marijuana wafting while walking the roads, and it’s especially popular with young soldiers who favor it over local smokes.

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