With all this talk about whether CL's "Lifted" is a reference to getting high, I thought I'd bring up some real drug scandals that have hit the Kpop world.
While tons of people in Korea smoke, the media is very sensitive about tobacco and drugs.
In day time dramas cigarettes are often blurred, and in kids TV shows any cigarette is changed to a lollipop. You can also see in Kpop videos that idols often have lollipops and that could be a symbol of a cig (like in BTS' Run)
Here are a few idols who have run into trouble with the law:
Drinking and smoking is overwhelmingly common in Korea, but marijuana will have you sent to jail.
When it came out that GD tested positive for weed after a party, the media blew up. He had to apologize, take a hiatus, go to court, and work hard to improve his image again.
He responded that he had been extremely drunk after a party, and when handed marijuana from someone, he took it thinking it was a cigarette.
As I explained in this post, Park Bom was caught with illegal anti-depressants and anxiety pills in her bag when she was in Korea. As the previous post explains, she was using them in the US where they are legal, and didn't think to check if they were illegal in Korea.
She was torn apart by the media, removed from many TV shows, and had to take a hiatus to hide from the public eye.
Daniel's crimes essentially ended his group, DMTN. He was caught, along with a group of international students at Yonsei University, smuggling and selling marijuana. He sold to other idols/trainees as well as to international students.
He returned to his home in California where it is almost certain he will never return to the Korean entertainment industry.
Bumkey was almost thrown in jail for 5+ years because of charges against him using meth and ecstasy.
He was declared innocent because of lack of evidence, however the court wasn't satisfied since "Mr. Song and Mr. Bae's testimony kept changing and did not match up with each other, and their testimonies are not believable."
Iron and Others
The rapper Iron was found with marijuana in his bag and tested positive when given a drug test. This apparently was one of the 10 entertainers that the Seoul Police had been investigating for a long time.
Allegedly, the Seoul Seocho Police Department were investigating a "popular hip hop artist (24), a hip hop idol member, a former first-generation idol group member, a concert organizer, trainees, and more." for marijuana possession or smoking.
***note the blurred cig in Jaejoong's hand!*** Now, I have nothing against people responsibly taking drugs. Many people in my family smoke weed, its legal in American states now, its not evil.
Other harder drugs are more dangerous, but again if you're using it responsibly and it isnt affecting other people, you go do you.
I think Korea is a little ridiculous with how strict it is about drug cases but how lenient and uncaring they are about other things like rape or abuse. I hope that these idols' lives are completely ruined by these "mistakes" they made.