Singapore does not obey other countries to legalize drugs: Prime Minister Lee


Singapore “has no intention of legalizing the drug, despite increasing pressure both externally and internally. [to do so]”Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

Lee addressing The 50th anniversary of the Central Narcotics Bureau of Singapore (CNB) on December 7, 2021.

In his speech, the Prime Minister acknowledged that Singapore faces drug management challenges as “many countries tend to legalize drugs, especially cannabis, for recreational purposes.”

Hardline stance

According to Lee, Singapore remains relatively “drug-free” and the number of substance abusers arrested has fallen to half in the mid-1990s.

The improved drug situation is partly due to Singapore’s hard-line stance on illegal drugs. “Strict law” and “strong enforcement” are two important factors.

The death penalty was introduced in 1975 for the most serious drug crimes, including trafficking of heroin weighing more than 15 grams. The changes it brought were dramatic.

Drug traffickers openly sold vials of heroin in certain areas of Singapore, but severe penalties hesitated to bring drugs into the country, and substance abusers from neighboring Malaysian states to Singapore. I was forced to buy and smuggle illegal drugs. A small amount.

Pressure to legalize drugs

Singapore is under pressure to legalize narcotics as it tends to be legalized in many other countries, but the Prime Minister emphasized: You have to decide what works in Singapore, not just follow what others are doing. “

Citing the rigorous lessons Singapore learned in the 2000s, he warned that drug legalization “can easily fail despite their best intentions.”

Subutex was introduced in Singapore in 2002 to treat opioid addiction. This unintentionally spiked the number of Subutex abusers, followed by associated deaths. Needles thrown into public places by Subutex abusers can also harm infants and the elderly.

“We decided to stop this. In 2006, Singapore listed Subutex as a regulated drug and CNB began a swift operation to clear Subutex from our city.

“We learned a painful lesson from Subutex,” Lee said.

Cultural influence

Lee warned of a “very worrisome tendency” that young people in Singapore have a “more liberal” attitude towards drugs, according to an annual survey by the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCADA). ..

He named the youth’s exposure to “alternative lifestyles on social media” as a fundamental factor.

“The use of narcotics is attractive and may give the impression that narcotics are harmless or even cool,” the Prime Minister said.

However, the cultural impact of young people’s attitudes towards drugs is not new to Singapore.

“After Singapore’s independence in the late 1960s, the” hippie culture “spread all over the world. This lifestyle element has permeated Singapore. Culture has begun to take root among our youth.

“Methaqualone (MX) pills, cannabis, heroin and other medicines were readily available. Pot parties were rampant. Young people were popping MX pills at tea dances and nightclubs, which was It has hit health and life. Drug abusers have often been found dead and lying on the streets. Some have suffered from overdose or severe allergic reactions. Others have suffered. He was killed in a traffic accident while he had a lot of drugs, “Lee said.

Later, CNB was founded in 1971 as a specialized agency for tackling drug issues.

In his speech, the Prime Minister also discussed how establishing a “strict rehabilitation system” and providing a “comprehensive and sustainable public education program” are part of CNB’s strategy in the fight against drugs.

Cindy Riu