Legality of Cannabis by U.S. Jurisdiction

Cannabis in Singapore is illegal. Possession or consumption can result in a maximum of 10 years in prison, with a possible fine of $20,000, as well as caning,[1] under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Trafficking, import or export of more than 500 grams may result in the death penalty.[2][3]

In 2016, a Straits Times article reported that there were 252 new drug cases by the National Addictions Management Service in the previous year involving people aged below 30, compared with 136 in 2014, further citing that such "cases of young people influenced by growing acceptance of drug overseas [is] a worrying trend". MP Christopher de Souza, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs and Law later stated that "to decriminalize the recreational consumption of cannabis is a foolish proposal. It entrenches a higher tolerance for drugs in community."[4]


Cannabis was likely introduced to Singapore by immigrant laborers from India, who used cannabis in their homeland. This origin is witnessed by the use of the Indian term ganja to label cannabis in Singapore.[5] Cannabis was banned in Singapore in 1870, during the British colonial period.[6]

Medical cannabis[edit]

As of 2021, two people with treatment-resistant epilepsy have been granted permission to use medical cannabis. The permission is limited to a cannabinoid pharmaceutical thought to be Epidiolex.[7]

The Singapore's National Research Foundation (NRF) announced on January 10, 2018 that it would develop synthetic cannabinoids, or chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant, as part of a broader S$25 million ($19 million) investment by the body into synthetic biology. The initiative is intended to boost Singapore's push to develop a “bio-based economy,” and grow new industries and create jobs in a sustainable way.[8]


  1. ^ "Drugs and Inhalants". Central Narcotics Bureau. Central Narcotics Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. 6 August 2013. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  2. ^ "MISUSE OF DRUGS ACT". Attorney-General's Chamber. Singapore Government. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Central Narcotics Bureau Singapore". Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  4. ^ "More Singapore youth seeking help for cannabis abuse". 2016-02-21.
  5. ^ Stanley Einstein (1980). The Community's response to drug use. Pergamon Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-08-019597-1.
  6. ^ Nanthawan Bunyapraphatsō̜n (1999). Medicinal and poisonous plants. Backhuys Publishers. p. 169. ISBN 978-90-5782-042-7.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "A country that punishes drug traffickers with death is investing in medical marijuana".