K-pop: BTOB’s Ilhoon under investigation over alleged marijuana use

Tamar Herman, South China Morning Post

Posted at Dec 22 2020 07:38 PM


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Jung Ilhoon, a member of K-pop group BTOB, is under investigation by South Korean police for marijuana usage, which is illegal in the country.

On Monday, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said in a statement to Korean media that the 26-year-old K-pop star had been referred for prosecution in July, with a recommendation that he be indicted for violating the country’s Narcotics Control Act, South Korean news agency Yonhap reports. Several others were also involved in the case.

The rapper-songwriter allegedly used virtual currency to purchase the drug second-hand from an acquaintance of his, in a series of transactions over the past few years.

Jung, who is often known only by his given name Ilhoon, is currently on hiatus from his work with BTOB while serving his mandatory military service.

BTOB’s management company, Cube Entertainment, confirmed that it was made aware Ilhoon was under criminal investigation for marijuana usage on Monday.

Recreational drugs were made illegal in South Korea in the 1950s, and cannabis in particular in the 1970s. The Narcotics Control Act has been in force since 2000. The country passed a law approving certain circumstances in which to allow the use of medical marijuana in 2018, but there is still a stigma attached to marijuana use. In the past, several popular entertainers’ careers have been ended by police investigations of their use of marijuana.