Singapore government may test for cannabis use upon entry into country

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Canadians travelling to Singapore are being warned that they may be subject to a drug test before entering the country.

Travel Canada announced Wednesday that custom officers can request a drug test when you arrive in Singapore, which could result in arrest even if the drug was consumed before travelling to the country. 

“Custom officers can request a drug test at the point of entry to #Singapore,” Travel Canada tweeted. “If you test positive for drugs, you can be arrested and prosecuted, even if the drugs were consumed prior to your arrival in the country.”

The warning comes after Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) released a statement last week on using drugs outside of the country. The statement said that citizens of Singapore or permanent residents can be prosecuted when in Singapore.

“Any Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident found to have abused controlled drugs overseas will be treated as if he/she had abused drugs in Singapore,” according to the statement. “CNB conducts enforcement checks at Singapore’s checkpoints and will take action against those found to have consumed drugs overseas.”

Though the statement specifically speaks to residents, Travel Canada states that all travelers to Singapore should be aware that a drug test may be requested at the point of entry.

The current penalties in relation to cannabis in Singapore are as follows:

Possession or consumption of cannabis:

* Up to 10 years of imprisonment or $20,000 fine or BOTH

Illegal traffic, import or export of:

* Cannabis of more than 500 grams > May face the death penalty
* Cannabis resin of more than 200 grams > May face the death penalty
* Cannabis mixture of more than 1,000 grams > May face the death penalty

The Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has stood firm on his stance against the production and use of cannabis, including in a speech during a UN General Assembly in 2016.

“For us, the choice is clear,” the minister said. “We want a drug-free Singapore, not a drug-tolerant Singapore.”

The Mayo Clinic says that a urine test can detect cannabis use three days after consumption for an occasional user and 10 to 15 days for someone using cannabis every day. Cannabis can be detected in urine for up to 30 days after use for anyone using cannabis multiple times per day.

A blood test can detect cannabis use for about one to two days following use depending on the frequency of consumption. A saliva test can detect use for one to three days following consumption for an occasional user but can be up to 29 days for someone using cannabis more frequently.

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