Criminal Fact Sheet: Cannabis

16 Sep 2017

Suspect ID No 7100: Cannabis

Profile of the suspect:

Cannabis has its origins from the hemp plant and is a drug that can have both properties of being a depressant and a stimulant. This means that the experience an abuser obtains from consumption varies from calming to hallucinatory. In short, the suspect is sometimes referred to as an 'all-rounder' in the drug world. The main active chemical in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and this affects concentration and memory, which in turn disrupts learning.

Uncovering the suspect's disguise:

This suspect is a real master of disguise. It comes in various forms such as 'loose' leaves, compressed blocks or corn cob shapes. It can also appear in the form of oil. Cannabis is usually rolled up and smoked like a cigarette (sometimes referred to as a 'joint'). In Singapore, the common method of consumption is via smoking.

More alarmingly, abusers or conniving dealers mix it into common foods such as pizzas and beverages to 'soften' its image. The suspect has been reported to appear in different types of everyday foods in other countries where tourists have been lured into trying them. Some countries also have more relaxed regulations on the consumption of cannabis. Hence, this suspect puts on a 'friendlier' face compared to other drugs. However, this does not imply that anyone should try it even when overseas. It is a serious offence and action will still be taken against the offender upon returning to Singapore.

Street names in suspect's ID:

  • Marijuana
  • Pot
  • Grass
  • Joints
  • Ganja
  • Hashish
  • Weed

Special notes:

Many people have been fooled into thinking that cannabis is a mild drug. However it is far from the truth. Cannabis is fully capable of bringing about severe health effects. In the short term, basic senses such as sight, sound and touch are affected and there is a loss of motor coordination. The heart races while anxiety develops. Some other short-term effects include feeling of dryness in the mouth and throat.

In the long run, cannabis tears down the body’s resistance to common illnesses such as colds and bronchitis. There will also be an increase in the growth of abnormally structured cells in the body. Rapid destruction of lung fibres and lesions to the brain occur while the abuser’s personality and mood take on a dramatic change.

An ex-abuser speaks:

"When I was first introduced to cannabis overseas, I presumed it was just a mild drug like how my friends described. The first try led to the second and eventually, it resulted in a never-ending chain of addiction that destroyed my health. When I returned to Singapore, the law also caught up with me."

Legal penalties:

Possession or consumption of cannabis:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment, S$20,000 fine or both (All Singaporeans / Permanent Residents found to have consumed illegal substances, even outside Singapore, will face the penalty of imprisonment of up to 10 years, fine not exceeding S$20,000 or both.)

Illegal traffic, import or export of any of the following may attract the death sentence:

  • Cannabis exceeding 500 grams
  • Cannabis resin exceeding 200 grams
  • Cannabis mixture exceeding 1,000 grams

The abuse of cannabis is not only illegal but also has dire health and social repercussions. Do not be fooled by its 'mild' image.

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Last updated: 15 Apr 2019