Misuse of Drugs Act (Singapore)

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1973 is a drug control law in Singapore classifying substances into three categories, Classes A, B, and C. Section 44 provides that "The Minister may, by an order published in the Gazette" add, remove, or transfer drugs among the classes. The statute's penal provisions are severe by most nations' standards, providing for long terms of imprisonment, caning, and capital punishment. The law creates a presumption of trafficking for certain threshold amounts, e.g. 30 grams of cannabis. It also creates a presumption that a person possesses drugs if he possesses the keys to a premises containing the drugs, and that "Any person found in or escaping from any place or premises which is proved or presumed to be used for the purpose of smoking or administering a controlled drug shall, until the contrary is proved, be presumed to have been smoking or administering a controlled drug in that place or premises." Thus, one runs the risk of arrest for drug use by simply being in the company of drug users. The law also allows officers to search premises and individuals, without a search warrant, if he "reasonably suspects that there is to be found a controlled drug or article liable to seizure". Moreover, Section 31 allows officers to demand urinalysis of suspected drug offenders while section 8A prohibits any citizen or permanent resident of Singapore to use any prohibited drug outside of the country, and if found guilty to be punished as if they committed that act within the country.

Misuse of Drugs Act 1973
Parliament of Singapore
  • An Act for the control of dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs and substances and for purposes connected therewith.
CitationNo. 5 of 1973
Enacted byParliament of Singapore
Enacted16 February 1973
Assented to7 July 1973
Commenced7 July 1973
Legislative history
Bill titleMisuse of Drugs Bill
Bill citationBill No. 46/72
Introduced byChua Sian Chin (Minister for Health and Home Affairs)
Introduced25 November 1972
First reading22 November 1972
Second reading16 February 1973
Third reading16 February 1973
Related legislation
Dangerous Drugs Act 1951; Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act 1969
Status: In force

Thresholds edit

Section 17 of the Misuse of Drugs Act[1] lists the amount of controlled drugs beyond which, the person who carries them shall be presumed to possess them for the purpose of drug trafficking unless proven otherwise:

Controlled Drug Presumed trafficking Death penalty or life imprisonment with min 15 strokes of the cane (eligible) [2]
opium[3] 100 grams (3.5 oz) 1,200 grams (42 oz)
morphine[4] 3 grams (0.11 oz) 30 grams (1.1 oz)
diamorphine (heroin) 2 grams (0.071 oz) 15 grams (0.53 oz)[5]
cannabis[6] 15 grams (0.53 oz) 500 grams (18 oz)
cannabis mixture 30 grams (1.1 oz) 1,000 grams (35 oz)
cannabis resin 10 grams (0.35 oz) 200 grams (7.1 oz)
cocaine 3 grams (0.11 oz) 30 grams (1.1 oz)[7]
methamphetamine 25 grams (0.88 oz) 250 grams (8.8 oz)[8]
10 grams (0.35 oz) of any or any combination of the following:
  • N, α-dimethyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenethylamine (MDMA)
  • α-methyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenethylamine (MDA)
  • N-ethyl-α-methyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenethylamine (MDEA)

The possession, consumption, manufacturing, import, export, or trafficking of these and other controlled drugs in any amount is illegal. Persons caught with less than the Mandatory Death Penalty amounts of these controlled substances face penalties ranging from caning[9] (up to 24 strokes) to life in prison. Pursuant to a law change in 2009, cannabis (marijuana) and marijuana mixtures (diluted with other substances) are treated the same under Singapore law—the presumed intent is trafficking.

Schedule I – Controlled Drugs edit

Class A – Part I edit

The Singapore embarkation card contains a warning to visitors about the death penalty for drug trafficking. Warning signs can be found at the Johor-Singapore Causeway and other border entries. Singapore Airlines and Jetstar Asia Airways also announce similar warnings to air passengers during flights to the country.

Some examples include:

Class B – Part II edit

Some examples include:

Class C – Part III edit

Part IV edit

For the purposes of this Paragraph:

  • cannabinol derivatives means the following substances, namely tetrahydro derivatives of cannabinol and their carboxylic acid derivatives, and 3-alkyl homologues of cannabinol or its tetrahydro derivatives;
  • coca leaf means the leaf of any plant of the genus Erythroxylon from whose leaves cocaine can be extracted either directly or by chemical transformation;
  • concentrate of opium poppy-straw means the material produced when poppy-straw has entered into a process for the concentration of its alkaloids;
  • opium poppy means any plant from which morphine may be produced;
  • preparation means a mixture, solid or liquid, containing a controlled drug;
  • poppy-straw means all parts, except the seeds, of the opium poppy, after mowing.

Schedule II – Offences Punishable on Conviction edit

Schedule III edit

Controlled equipment, materials or substances useful for manufacturing controlled drugs edit

  • Part I
    • 1-Phenyl-2-propanone also known as Phenylacetone
    • 3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone
    • Camazepam (may be used to manufacture temazepam also known as (9-chloro-2-methyl-3-oxo-6-phenyl-2,5-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undeca-5,8,10,12-tetraen-4-yl) N,N-dimethylcarbamate
    • Clonazepam also known as 6-(2-chlorophenyl)-9-nitro-2,5-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undeca-5,8,10,12-tetraen-3-one
    • Diazepam (may be used to manufacture temazepam) also known as 7-chloro-1-methyl-5-phenyl-1,3-dihydro-2H-1,4-benzodiazepin-2-one
    • Ephedrine also known as (1R,2S)-2-(methylamino)-1-phenylpropan-1-ol
    • Ergometrine also known as Ergonovine or Ergobasine
    • Ergotamine also known as Ergotaman-3',6',18-trione, 12'-hydroxy-2'-methyl-5'-(phenylmethyl)-, (5'-alpha)- (9CI)
    • Estazolam (may be used to manufacture triazolam) also known as 8-Chloro-6-phenyl-4H-1,2,4-triazolo(4,3-a)-1,4-benzodiazepine
    • Isosafrole also known as 1,2-(Methylenedioxy)-4-propenylbenzene
    • Lorazepam (may be used to manufacture temazepam) also known as 9-chloro-6-(2-chlorophenyl)-4-hydroxy-2,5-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undeca-5,8,10,12-tetraen-3-one
    • Lormetazepam (may be used to manufacture temazepam) also known as 9-chloro-6-(2-chlorophenyl)-4-hydroxy-2-methyl-2,5-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undeca-5,8,10,12-tetraen-3-one
    • Lysergic acid also known as 9,10-didehydro-6-methylergoline-8-carboxylic acid
    • N-acetylanthranilic acid also known as N-Acetyl-o-aminobenzoic acid
    • Nitrazepam (may be used to manufacture flunitrazepam and nimetazepam) also known as 9-nitro-6-phenyl-2,5-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undeca-5,8,10,12-tetraen-3-one
    • Oxazepam (may be used to manufacture temazepam) also known as 9-chloro-4-hydroxy-6-phenyl-2,5-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undeca-5,8,10,12-tetraen-3-one
    • Piperonal also known as 3,4-(Methylenedioxy)benzaldehyde or Piperonylaldehyde
    • Prazepam (may be used to manufacture flutoprazepam) also known as 9-chloro-2-(cyclopropylmethyl)-6-phenyl-2,5-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undeca-5,8,10,12-tetraen-3-one
    • Pseudoephedrine also known as β-Hydroxy-N-methylamphetamine
    • Safrole also known as 4-Allyl-1,2-methylenedioxybenzene
  • Part II

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Misuse of Drugs Act (CHAPTER 185). p. PART III EVIDENCE, ENFORCEMENT AND PUNISHMENT. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  2. ^ "GeoAsia Tourist information – MDP Singapore drug laws". Goseasia.about.com. 23 September 1994. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  3. ^ "HISTORY OF DRUG ABUSE & SANA". The Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA). Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  4. ^ "I had a morphine jab". Singapore Press Holdings. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  5. ^ "The "14.99g" charge". Death Penalty in Singapore. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Drugs and Inhalants". Central Narcotics Bureau. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  7. ^ Lee, Melanie. "FEATURE-Party drugs a hit with wealthy in Singapore". Reuters. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Drugs and Inhalants". Central Narcotics Bureau. Archived from the original on 1 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Drug Laws". SINGAPORE ANTI-NARCOTICS ASSOCIATION. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2015.

External links edit