The Western media and the Internet may be giving young people the wrong impression that cannabis is not harmful and Singapore's drug laws are too strict.
But the drug is highly addictive and can lead to abusers using harder drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine, according to a new drug-prevention toolkit. It was launched yesterday by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) at a conference on at-risk youths.
"There is no such thing as a 'soft' drug," said Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin at the launch.
"Clusters of young cannabis abusers are emerging. A cluster develops when one young person takes cannabis. He then introduces it to his friends, who in turn introduce it to their friends."
A worrying trend he highlighted is that more cannabis abusers come from middle-class families and do well in school, a segment that Mr Amrin said does not typically consume drugs.
CNB will distribute the 103- page toolkit to schools and tertiary institutions by January. It lists various drugs, their side effects and associated penalties, as well as helplines, lesson plans and the rehabilitation schemes available.
Kok Xing Hui