A popular Korean pop star was booked in Korea for smoking a vape pen that contained marijuana.
Choi Seung Hyun, known as BIGBANG’s T.O.P., trained since February in the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency band unit in order to serve in the military. He admitted to vaping the substance that was given to him by a female friend, who was in her 20s and a K-pop trainee. Her past records show that she has had multiple drug offenses.
The police were notified in March; the identity of the reporter has not been revealed. Choi underwent a hair follicle test at the policy facility where he was training, and the results came back positive for marijuana. Choi was officially charged in the beginning of June by the Seoul Drug Criminal Investigation Department and was taken to custody.
The rapper denied the charges at first, saying that “I only smoked electronic cigarettes and I didn’t know it was marijuana”.
The use of marijuana in South Korea could lead up to five years in jail or a fine up to 50 million won ($44,560).
The record label that Choi worked for, YG Entertainment, released a statement on June 1, the day he was charged:
“First and foremost, we would like to apologize.
After confirmation, we have learned that Choi Seung Hyun (T.O.P’s real name) did in fact admit to the charge of smoking marijuana before his military enlistment, following through with all investigative measures by attending the police’s investigation in the midst of his public service duties and deeply reflecting on his actions afterward.
Once again, we apologize for worrying so many people.”
South Korea has one of the strictest marijuana laws in the world. Police authorities are able to stop anyone on the street and subject them to a drug test. The test that is often used are the hair follicle test, which can detect drug use as far back as three years. The detection of THC in the hair follicle could be enough to get someone detained.
It is speculated that T.O.P. will be charged and face jail time.
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