|Number of Foreigners High|
The 31 year-old male, identified only as 'J' because he can't remember the rest of his name, sold 90 grams of smuggled marijuana, charging 100,000 won ($87.90) to 150,000 won ($131.55) per gram to other foreigners, mostly at fifth column meetings. This compares to a typical national average hagwon fee of 350,000 won ($263.10) per month, but whereas Californian marijuana averages 15% purity, English lessons are generally 0.01% pure, with the remainder of the classes being filler material and bulking agents, meaning that a gram of usable English on the 'white market' is approximately also 100,000 won.
A police spokesman said that they had discovered enough pot to get 270 people high, and their investigation would continue once all his colleagues had recovered.
A school official interviewed by KBS said they were shocked by the revelation that one of their teachers – called 'M' - habitually took drugs supplied by 'J' - "He did a good job, I totally did not expect this." they told reporters.
Foreigners have argued in the past that taking drugs helps them make the cultural adjustment to teaching English in Korea, but the courts have ruled that while sexually assaulting students under the influence of alcohol is a mitigating circumstance, teaching them while under the influence of drugs should be subject to prison terms. Efforts to replace foreign teachers with robots have so far failed.
The case - which is far from isolated - highlights the continued problem of foreigners in Korea. In March another native English instructor working at a nationally well-known hagwon which maybe your children attend was arrested for smoking marijuana by prosecutors. The prosecutors noticed the crime in progress when they began to suddenly question why they were always persecuting people and generally being such 'downers'.
Evidence suggests booked drug users easily evade drug tests by submitting urine samples provided by one of the two native English teachers in Korea who do not take drugs. At least one of the teachers providing these samples is believed to be earning millions of won from the activity every week, but police can do nothing because selling urine is not illegal in Korea due to laws originally aimed at protecting the local beer industry.
Under South Korean law - which bans the use of drugs - marijuana users can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail or fined up to 50 million won ($43,850) - the same punishment as those found guilty of failing to drink until they vomit on a night out. Drug usage in Korea and the number of foreigners in Korea have both increased in recent years proving a clear link between the two problems.
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Illegal drug use rises steeply
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