Shanmugam refuses to chill out to dank 4/20 vibes at UN General Assembly

Yesterday, the whole world (and most probably a segment of Singapore’s population) celebrated 4/20: National Weed Day — and it was on this day that de facto marijuana mecca Jamaica rebuked the United Nations on their “outdated” status on cannabis. 

Jamaican Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson-Smith had some pretty strong words for the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday, VICE News reports. She contended the fact that cannabis is still deemed a dangerous drug with no medical use under international law, calling the classification an “anomaly”. 

The softening of stances on marijuana was supported by Canada, whose health minister said that federal legislation to legalize weed will be ready in a year’s time. Acknowledging that its “impossible to arrest our way out of this problem”, the Canadian minister assured that their legislation will ensure that the drug will stay out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals. 

Amidst the expanding rhetoric that weed may not be as bad as initially believed, Singapore’s Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam was totally #nochill. 

In his speech, he mentioned that he remained unmoved by everything he heard at the meeting, fiercely attesting that Singapore will never soften its drug policies.

“I say to anyone with a different view – come forward. I am prepared to compare our experiences with any city that you choose,” he challenged. 

“Show us a model that works better, that delivers a better outcome for citizens, and we will consider changing. If that cannot be done, then don’t ask us to change.”

Shanmugam explained that Singapore adopted a comprehensive, balanced, sustained and tough approach to tackling both drug supply and demand — while also focusing on rehabilitating abusers and reintegrating them back into society. He recognised that it’s a more difficult and resource-intensive course of action, but it was a better option that has led to the drug situation being under control in the city-state.

“For us, the choice is clear,” he added. “We want a drug-free Singapore, not a drug-tolerant Singapore.” 

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