Monday, June 22, 2009
Korean Film Star Causes Uproar with Pot Comments
By calling for the legalization of marijuana during a television interview Korean actress Kim Bu-seon has landed in hot water.
No stranger to controversy Bu-seon has also been arrested many times for possession. In her comments delivered on a popular morning TV show on Friday the actress spoke out against the persecution of celebrities in South Korea who inhale.
The recent arrest of actor Oh Gwang-rok led to her latest call for the legalization of marijuana as well as lashing out against the government. "Whenever the government has troubles, it uses drug-taking entertainers to divert people's attention," she said in a pre-recorded interview. "It is the best way to make entertainers and artists obey the government."
She also explained that Korea has a proud history of marijuana use for medicinal purposes. "Marijuana is not a narcotic; it is technically an Oriental herbal medicine which Koreans have used for 5,000 years.
"If smoking it doesn't do harm to others, those who do need it, such as those suffering from depression or cancer patients, should be allowed to use it," said Bu-seon. "Korea has the highest ratio of death by suicide among OECD members. The nation needs to take marijuana as a depression remedy and make depression patients come back to society."
Viewers were appalled by Bu-seon's comments and have demanded an apology from the public broadcaster MBC.