What Drug Offences are there in Singapore?
In Singapore, the list of controlled drugs and inhalants can be found under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) and Intoxicating Substances Act (INSA).
The list includes:
• Buprenorphine (Subutex, Tec, Su su)
• BZP and TFMPP (Party Pills)
• Cannabis (Marijuana, Pot, Grass, Joints, Weed, Ganja, Hashish)
• Cocaine (Crack, Coke, Snow)
• Ecstasy (MDMA, MDEA, MDA)
• Heroin (White, Smack, Junk, Powder, Putih, Ubat)
• Inhalants (Glue-sniffing, Solvent abuse, Solvent inhalation, Solvent Sniffing)
• Ketamine (K, Special K)
• Lysergide (LSD, Acid, Trips, Stamp, Tabs)
• Mephedrone (Bubbles, Mcat, Snow and Meow)
• Methamphetamine (Ice, Glass, Crystal, Quartz, Yaba, Sybu, Hirropon)
• New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)
Main Drug Offences in Singapore:
- Drug Trafficking
- Drug Possession
- Drug Consumption
- Possession of Utensils
- Inhaling Intoxicating Substances
- Offering to or Supplying Intoxicating Substances
Offences for Drug Trafficking
Anyone found involved in selling, giving, administering, transporting, delivering or distributing a controlled drug commits an offence of trafficking under Section 5 of the MDA. In addition, simply offering to traffic and to do/ offer to do any act in preparation of trafficking a controlled drug also constitutes an offence under Section 5.
(Note: It is also an offence under Section 7 of the MDA to import or export controlled drugs.)
The penalty for drug trafficking largely depends on the class (Class A, B, C) and quantity of drugs trafficked. The range of penalties can be found at the Second Schedule of the MDA.
Presumptions for drug trafficking
Under Section 17 of the MDA, you are automatically presumed to be trafficking in drugs if you are found in possession of the following amounts:
- 100 grammes of opium;
- 3 grammes of morphine;
- 2 grammes of diamorphine;
- 15 grammes of cannabis;
- 30 grammes of cannabis mixture;
- 10 grammes of cannabis resin;
- 3 grammes of cocaine;
- 25 grammes of methamphetamine;
- 113 grammes of ketamine; or
- 10 grammes of any or any combination of the following:
- N, α-dimethyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenethylamine;
- α-methyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenethylamine; or
Is there a death penalty?
Yes. Several trafficking offences under the MDA carry a mandatory death penalty.
Anyone found guilty of such offences may be able to avoid the mandatory death penalty if it can be proven that they were only couriers. In addition to that, they must have either helped the Central Narcotics Bureau in some substantive way or be suffering from a mental disability.
In such cases, the drug trafficker would instead be sentenced to life imprisonment and caned not less than 15 strokes.
Offence for Drug Possession
Anyone found to possess a controlled drug is found to have committed an offence under Section 8(a) of the MDA.
The penalty for this offence is a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of $20,000 or both.
Presumption of drug possession: Under Section 18 of the MDA, if you are found with drugs contained inside something you own (e.g. backpack), inside your home or an item or place that you have keys to (e.g. locker), you are automatically presumed to be in possession of drugs and to have known that it was a prohibited drug unless proven otherwise.
Offence for Drug Consumption
Anyone found to have smoked, consumed or administered to himself a controlled or specified drug is found to have committed an offence under Section 8(b) of the MDA.
(Note: Specified drugs refer to certain controlled drugs that are listed separately in the Fourth Schedule of the MDA)
The penalty for this offence is imprisonment of not less than 1 year but not more than 10 years, and a fine not exceeding $20,000.
Presumption relating to urine test: Under Section 22 of the MDA, if any controlled drug is found in a person’s urine, he shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to have smoked, consumed or administered to himself that controlled drug.
What if I am a repeat drug offender?
If you are a repeat offender, (i.e. previously been admitted into an institution or convicted for a drug related offence), the penalty for consuming a controlled drug is imprisonment of at least 3 years. Depending on the nature of your previous conviction and the number of such previous convictions, you may be subject to mandatory minimum imprisonment of at least 5 or 7 years and given a minimum of 3 or 6 strokes of the cane.
What if I consumed the drugs outside Singapore?
Any Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Resident found to have smoked, administered to himself or otherwise consumed drugs outside Singapore would be dealt with as if that offence had been committed within Singapore.
Possession of Drugs Utensils
Anyone possessing any pipe, syringe, utensil, apparatus or other article intended for the smoking, administration or consumption of a controlled drug has committed an offence under Section 9 of the MDA. It does not matter whether they had consumed any controlled drugs or had any on them in the first place.
The penalty for this offence is imprisonment for a maximum of 3 years or a fine of $10,000 or both.
Presumption of premises: Under Section 19 of the MDA, where a utensil of such nature is found in any premises, it is presumed, until the contrary is proved, that the premises were used for the purpose of smoking, administering, or consuming a controlled drug.
Presumption of persons in such premises: Also, under Section 19 of the MDA, anyone found inside or escaping from any place used (or presumed to be used) for the purpose of smoking or administering a controlled drug will be presumed to have been smoking or administering a controlled drug in that place or premises, unless proven otherwise.
Offences for Inhaling intoxicating substances
Anyone who uses or inhales any intoxicating substance for the purpose of inducing or causing in himself a state of intoxication, has committed an offence under Section 3 of the Intoxicating Substances Act.
The penalty for this offence is admission to an approved centre for treatment and rehabilitation for up to 6 months, or up to 6 months of imprisonment or S$2,000 fine or both.
Presumption of misuse of intoxicating substances: Under Section 14 of the Intoxicating Substances Act, where the blood test results reveal any chemical compound with an amount that is over the specified limit, it will be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that you have used or inhaled any intoxicating substance for the purpose of inducing or causing a state of intoxication.
Offence for Supplying or offering to supply intoxicating substances
A person is found to have committed an offence under Section 4 of the Intoxicating Substances Act if he is found selling, supplying, or offerings to sell or offerings to supply an intoxicating substance to any person. The offender also has to know or believe that the intoxicating substance is, or its fumes are, likely to be used or inhaled by the other party to for the purpose of inducing or causing a state of intoxication in himself.
The penalty for this offence is a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.