Singapore—The country’s Law and Home Affairs Minister, K. Shanmugam, strengthened his argument on the harmfulness of cannabis by posting a “heartfelt, sincere, powerful” email from a former user of the drug, who has since gotten drug-free.

Mr Shanmugam obtained the consent of “R” to share an email he had received from him and posted it on Facebook on Thursday morning (Dec 10).

FB screengrab: K Shanmugam SC

“R”, who identified himself in his email to Mr Shanmugam as a young Singaporean from Nee Soon, had actually written to the minister from his bed at Singapore General Hospital as he was in recovery.

He had seen an article in CNA wherein the Minister had expressed his perspective on the decision of the United Nations to remove cannabis from the most tightly controlled category of narcotic drugs, as well as a video on Facebook wherein Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State at the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of National development, also spoke to a former addict who had begun with using cannabis.

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CNA quoted Mr Shanmugam as saying, “I put this down to the power of money. Companies see a huge amount of profit and a very invidious idea that cannabis is not harmful is being pushed. But the evidence that it is harmful is quite substantive.”

“R” went on to say that he, like many others, had once believed marijuana was “harmless and cool,” but it had proved to be a gateway for him “to the world of drugs and other abusive substances.”

He later called it a “global phenomenon” wherein many people from different nations think marijuana is harmless and that consuming it is “natural.”

R also excessed concern over the term “Medical Marijuana” which he says is “widespread in some parts of the world” and adds confusion. “THC and CBD are totally two different things,” he added.

And when he changed his mind about marijuana, he hardly relapsed into drugs, and with support, he has been able to get healthy again.

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He thanked the Minister for keeping Singapore safe from drugs and suggested an initiative to educate the youth concerning the “ideology” of drugs being cool, adding that he would not mind sharing his own personal experiences “to influence the youth at risk to have a strong will against drugs and other harmful substances.”

The Minister wrote in his post, “Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) – the two main components of cannabis – are ‘totally different things’.

THC has psychoactive effects. It is established to be addictive and harmful.

CBD is non-psychoactive. It is the component that some researchers say has medical purposes.

CBD can be isolated, and synthesized. You don’t need THC, you don’t need to take raw Cannabis.

Why then are drug companies pushing to legalise raw cannabis, which also contains the harmful THC? And pushing for recreational use of raw Cannabis. This is cynical, knowing that the public will be harmed – being done for profit.”


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