The Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) governs drug-related offences in Singapore. It consists of seven parts (Part I – Part VII) with 59 sections and 5 schedules (First Schedule – Fifth Schedule).
The Misuse of Drugs Act penalises both the drug trafficker or seller and the drug consumer or buyer. Sections 5-7 discusses the offences of manufacturing, trafficking, importing or exporting, and possessing or consuming the controlled drugs.
What if a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident consumes controlled drugs outside of Singapore? He or she will be found to have consumed the controlled drugs in Singapore if, as a result of such behaviour, an offence is committed under the Misuse of Drugs Act. This person will suffer punishment as dictated under section 8A of the MDA.
Section 9 of the MDA states that it is illegal to possess any pipes or utensils for smoking or the administration of drugs. It is also illegal to cultivate plants from the genus of cannabis, or any plant from which cocaine can be extracted.
MDA categorises the drugs into three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. The First Schedule of the MDA lists down all three classes of controlled drugs.
If a person possesses anything containing a controlled drug, it will be presumed that he or she possesses the drug. The individual must prove that he or she was unaware that the substance was ins his or her possession.
In the event of a drug raid, the police do not need to produce a search warrant to enter a person’s premises.
If a person possesses an amount of drugs larger than that specified by the MDA, it may be presumed that the person has the intent to trade the drugs. The individual must therefore prove that the drugs in his or her possession were not for trafficking purposes.
Different sanctions are to be imposed on different classes of controlled drugs:
Specified drug / Large quantity of controlled drug / Specified content:
There is no death sentence for drug-related offences if:
Under section 34 of the MDA, the court may impose a supervision order on the accused, who is a drug addict. A trained officer from the CNB will conduct this supervision. The supervision order that leads to rehabilitation and treatment of the accused shall last for a period not exceeding two years.
When in rehabilitation and treatment, the accused shall stay in an approved institute in Singapore for at least six months. Only the CNB director or a review committee may allow the accused to be released earlier.
The rehabilitation period may be extended for another six months. The supervision order may also be prolonged by another two years if the CNB director or a review committee deems that the accused needs further rehabilitation. The accused, however, cannot stay in the institution for more than three years.
If you are charged with a drug-related crime, we strongly recommend that you seek immediate legal representation from an experienced criminal lawyer.