Drug firms' push to legalise cannabis containing harmful THC is 'done for profit': Shanmugam

The minister said the decision is 'cynical' for they know the public will be harmed.

Kayla Wong | December 10, 2020, 02:23 PM

The push by drug companies to legalise raw cannabis that also contains "harmful THC" is "cynical" for they know "the public will be harmed", Singapore's Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam said in a Facebook post on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Shanmugam added that the decision was motivated by profits.

This latest post by the minister has been consistent with his past views on the topic of legalising marijuana, also known as weed or ganja.

He had previously criticised the decision by the United Nations to remove cannabis from a list of the world's most dangerous drugs as bring driven by profits.

Push to legalise raw cannabis and its recreational use places profits above public's interests: Shanmugam

In his Thursday Facebook post, Shanmugam attached a screenshot of a "heartfelt, sincere, powerful" email he received from a former cannabis user named "R", who said he is proud of himself for the action taken to be drug-free.

"R" claimed that he had fallen to the "widespread misinformation of the media portraying it to be harmless and 'cool'", and that he thinks those advocating for the use of marijuana are "only saying that it's fine to justify their own actions of abusing it".

He also said people are confused by the term "medical marijuana", adding that THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) are two different things.

Elaborating on the difference further in his post, Shanmugam said THC has psychoactive effects, and has been "established to be addictive and harmful".

CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive, and is the component that "some researchers say has medical purposes", he said.

And since CBD can be isolated and synthesised, he posited that THC is not needed, which means raw cannabis is not necessary for consumption.

Shanmugam then questioned the push by drug companies to legalise raw cannabis that also contains the "harmful THC", as well as their push for the recreational use of raw cannabis.

"This is cynical, knowing that the public will be harmed -- being done for profit," he said in his post.

Singapore expressed its disappointment with UN decision

Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs had expressed its disappointment with the outcome of the UN vote to remove cannabis and its derivatives from the dangerous drugs list.

Singapore's UN Ambassador Umej Bhatia also reiterated the country's zero-tolerance stance towards drugs, including cannabis and cannabis-related substances.

Totally unrelated but follow and listen to our podcast here

Top image adapted via K Shanmugam/Facebook & CNB, ICA