ViceVice

Rocky Mountain High and North Korean Defectors

The legalization of marijuana in the United States is now a reality. On January 1 of this year, Colorado lifted the prohibition on recreational marijuana use and now cannabis vendors can sell the drug from seed to smoke. This great experiment has subsequently brought forth a gold rush mentality for entrepreneurs seeking to capitalize on the nascent industry. At the same time, Mexican cartels are projected to potentially lose up to several billion dollars in profits. Federal laws make it difficult for businesses to use banks, giving life to highly trained security forces that protect weed profits. Businessmen, and even lawmakers are trying to capitalize on the potential success of the end of marijuana prohibition. David Choe looks at the rising entrepreneurs and businesses of this ever-growing trade.

Last season, VICE on HBO followed the lives of the North Korean defectors on their perilous journey escaping the Hermit Kingdom. But the hardships for escaped North Koreans don't end with their escape. Instead of being welcomed with open arms, defectors that finally make it to South Korea are faced with deep suspicion and discrimination. Coming from a world of extreme poverty and strict military dictatorship, they struggle to find jobs, make friends, or find a home in South Korea. Over half of North Korean defectors to South Korea are women, and many of them turn to prostitution to keep afloat. Defying the norm, a television show titled Now On My Way to Meet You, displays them in a humorous and transparent light. Vikram Gandhi follows the paths of these defectors and their new lives in the highly modernized society of South Korea.

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