WHAT’S THE PUNISHMENT FOR A DRUG OFFENCE IN SINGAPORE?
Unauthorised possession of a controlled drug in Singapore (which is an offence under section 8(a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act) can be punished with a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of $20,000 or both. In Singapore, there is a special provision (under section 18 of the Misuse of Drugs Act) which enables the authorities and Courts to automatically presume that you knew that any controlled drug found in your possession was in fact a controlled drug unless you can prove otherwise – this means that the authorities only need to prove that the drugs were found in your possession and they don’t need to prove that you had knowledge of the existence of the controlled drug and, on the contrary, you bear the burden of proving that you did not have that knowledge.
Unauthorised consumption of a controlled drug in Singapore (which is an offence under section 8(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act) can also be punished with a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of $20,000 or both. A special provision (under section 22 of the Misuse of Drugs Act) also enables the authorities and Courts to presume that you consumed drugs illegally if the substance is found in your blood unless you can prove that the drug consumption was involuntary.
Singapore citizens and permanent residents can also be prosecuted for illegally consuming controlled drugs overseas (under section 8A of the Misuse of Drugs Act) and as if the offence is treated and punished as if it was committed in Singapore.
If you have only committed a drug consumption offence, the authorities may admit you into a rehabilitation centre to undergo treatment and rehabilitation for 6 months (or up to a maximum of 3 years) at the Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC). If you are a first-time and second-time drug abuser, this admission into DRC is made in lieu of a sentence of imprisonment. If you are a third-time drug abuser, you will be prosecuted in Court and be liable to serve a longer prison sentence.
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