Jail time proposed for allowing a young person to take drugs

Drugs including cannabis, Ice, heroin, Erimin-5 and Ecstasy tablets that were seized from a residential unit in Yishun Ave 6, on May 15, 2018.
Drugs including cannabis, Ice, heroin, Erimin-5 and Ecstasy tablets that were seized from a residential unit in Yishun Ave 6, on May 15, 2018. PHOTO: CNB

Under proposed changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act, it will be an offence to expose children to drugs or permit a young person to consume drugs.

These are among the proposals that come with heavy penalties in an effort to address activities surrounding the drug menace.

"The Bill introduces a new provision which makes it an offence for an adult who permits or does not take reasonable steps to prevent a young person (defined to be below 21 years of age) from consuming controlled drugs in the adult's possession," the Ministry of Home Affairs said yesterday.

A maximum prison sentence of 10 years is proposed for the offence.

The law will also come down hard on those involved in acts of "contamination".

These include introducing a drug trafficker to another person and teaching a person how to cultivate, manufacture, consume or import controlled drugs.

First-time offenders will face up to 10 years in jail.

 

Likewise, a person can be liable for disseminating or publishing information on the cultivation, manufacture, consumption and trafficking of drugs.

First-time offenders would face a jail term not exceeding five years or a maximum fine of $10,000.

To address the issue of parents who "persistently absent themselves" from compulsory counselling sessions for low-risk youth abusers, the Bill will make it mandatory for parents or guardians of youth abusers to attend counselling.

Parents can be charged and punished with a fine if they fail to comply.

The Bill also seeks to grant the director of the Central Narcotics Bureau the power to order a person to provide urine or hair samples.

Introduced in 2012, hair analysis is used as an alternative detection tool as it is able to detect drugs consumed.

The Bill proposes a mandatory minimum jail term of one year for first-time convictions of drug consumption or failure to provide urine or hair specimens.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2018, with the headline 'Jail time proposed for allowing a young person to take drugs'. Print Edition | Subscribe