A 23-year-old recreational cannabis user from Singapore has been sentenced to a caning and a multi-year prison sentence after he was caught with dried cannabis that he intended to sell.
The 23-year-old fish breeder faced court on Tuesday, the 29th of June. According to Channel News Asia, he was arrested in his Buangkok Crescent flat on the 4th of December, 2019.
When police from the Intelligence Division of Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau arrested him, they discovered dried cannabis, a grinder and other drug utensils inside his home. In total, he had 77.26 grams of cannabis, which is worth roughly $1,560 in Australia.
According to statements made in court, the man had intended to sell a single brick of the cannabis for $350. It is unclear how many bricks he would have gotten from the dried cannabis, as the size of a ‘brick’ is location-dependent.
The 23-year-old did not grow the cannabis himself but purchased it from a dealer who goes by ‘Joey Joe’. He has been a regular cannabis user for the past four years.
In court, the fish breeder pleaded guilty to three charges. This includes trafficking a Class A controlled drug, having drug utensils and possessing a controlled drug. He had no prior convictions, though the court did consider that he had other trafficking charges when sentencing him.
For his crimes, the 23-year-old was given a prison sentence of five months and nine days and five strokes of the cane. This is slightly above the minimum sentence of five years and five cane strikes.
Singapore currently sentences people to canings for offences like drug trafficking, murder and sexually violent crimes. Caning is a very violent punishment that sees a prisoner stripped naked and hit with a rattan cane at speeds up to 160 kilometres per hour. Caning frequently results in cuts, bleeding and permanent scarring. Though International law considers caning a cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment, Singapore has previously defended its use of caning as lawful within the nation.
The 23-year-old’s prison sentence will begin immediately, and his caning punishment will be administered at a random time during his first twelve months in prison.