Singaporean Drug Bust Nets Largest Cannabis Haul in 14 Years

Singaporean authorities confiscated more than 20.5 kilograms of cannabis in the biggest haul in 14 years in the city-state, which has one of the world’s toughest drug laws and remains resistant to medical marijuana.

The Central Narcotics Bureau seized the marijuana along with packets of heroin, crystalline methamphetamine as well as Ecstasy and Erimin-5 tablets with a street value estimated close to S$1.7 million ($1.3 million), according to a statement. Three Singaporeans were arrested and investigations are ongoing.

“The total amount of drugs seized in the operation is sufficient to feed 3,950 heroin abusers, 3,700 ‘Ice’ abusers and 2,930 cannabis abusers for a week,” the bureau said in a statement on Thursday.

Singapore has a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drugs with long jail sentences for users and capital punishment for traffickers. Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, offenders found illegally trafficking more than 500 grams of cannabis could face the death penalty.

Authorities in Singapore have consistently warned against a global easing of drug laws even as some countries move to legalize cannabis for recreational and medical purposes. Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has called pharmaceutical companies’ promotion of medical marijuana as being driven by the “power of money and propaganda” in a 2019 interview with local media.

The latest drug bust for cannabis is the biggest since 2007 when Singaporean authorities confiscated 20.6 kilograms, according to the Today online newspaper.

“Many pro-cannabis lobby groups continue to make many unverified claims to encourage the use of cannabis, despite robust and well-documented studies on the harms of cannabis,” Aaron Tang, director of the Central Narcotics Bureau’s intelligence division, was cited as saying in the Today report in response to the recent drug seizure.

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