Drugs In Other Nations
Drugs In Other Nations

Travel Alert : The World Is Not All Drug Friendly Just Yet

The Marijuana Wave Is Sweeping North America, But Not Asia

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Monday Jun 20, 2016

American’s Drug Conviction In Taiwan Ends In Suicide

Do NOT Travel with Cannabis to These Places.... from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


Tyrel Martin Marhanka, a 41 year old American, killed himself by using a blade to slash his neck. A Taiwain court had just issued him a four-year sentence after being convicted of growing marijuana and opium.


When the Changhua District Court judge declared the sentence, Marhanka’s interpreter informed him of the decision, which made Marhanka incredulous. While he was informed that he could file an appeal, Marhanka proceeded to stab both sides of his neck using an 8-inch blade which he smuggled into the courtroom by hiding them in a magazine.


A statement released by the Changhua District Court stated that Marhanka was rushed to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.


Marhanka had been a resident of Taiwain over 15 years with his Taiwanese wife and their 2 kids. On April 2015, authorities found opium poppies and over 200 marijuana plants in his rented home located in the Yongjing Township. In 2011, Marhanka smuggled in 800 poppy seeds from the United States, and a few years later, he grew cannabis which he bought online from a UK website.


According to Marhanka, he was growing these plants for personal consumption.


Judge Wang Yi-Min released an apology for Marhanka’s death, and that improved security measures would be implemented.

Risky Decisions

Throughout Asia, the punishment for drug use is still severe. While the West seems to be nearing the end of the prohibition, it is a completely different story in the East. In fact, the governments of Southeast Asia are notorious for having the harshest drug laws in the world. Despite these draconian measures, marijuana and other illegal drugs are still widely available in the region, if you knew where to look without ending up as a feature on “Locked Up Abroad”.


The attitude towards marijuana and other drugs doesn’t look like it will be changing any time soon, though. After all, the heart of Asia is also home to the infamous “Golden Triangle” which includes Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and China. These countries are known as a hotspot for drug production.


Historically, the region was also known for being part of the drug route, opium fields, human trafficking, and violence.


Execution, death sentences, and hanging are not uncommon punishments carried out by the governments of Eastern countries, even until today. Simply put, Asia is easily the scariest place in the world to get caught buying, growing, or selling drugs even if it’s just marijuana.  Traveling with marijuana can be a very risky proposition.


Have you ever had a run in with the law with regards to marijuana outside the United States?


Share your story with us in the comments below.



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