Singapore with its strict drug laws... will be researching and developing marijuana?!

Singapore with its strict drug laws... will be researching and developing marijuana?!

SG Gazette·2018-02-24 16:30

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Singapore is known worldwide is one of the harshest punishers when it comes to drugs, with the death penalty pretty common for those found distributing the vice products.

How is it then, that the country has recently launched research into “medicinal pot”, one of the world’s most well-known stimulants?

The National Research Foundation, affiliated the National University of Singapore, has announced their project to develop synthetic cannabinoids, one of the chemical compounds found in the plant.

It is part of a broad $225 million investment into synthetic biology, and looks to boost a “bio-based economy”, and grow jobs and industries sustainably.

Synthetic cannabinoids would also look to replicate the effects of the actual chemicals, and help diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

But before anything can come to fruition from synthetic creation, the team will definitely have to handle the actual marijuana, also known as weed and pot, which is prohibited in Singapore under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Could this be a time for a look at the pros and cons of marijuana once again?

How smoking weed can help

Most know that marijuana comes with a myriad of health benefits, which has resulted in certain countries and states in the United States to legalise smoking weed.

Besides “getting high” and “unlocking your creative potential”, as most advocates would say, studies have found that smoking the leaves can also help with the following:

- Depression

- Losing weight

- Lower the risk of diabetes

- Keep you calm

- Alleviate cramps

- Sleeping

How weed can be abused

With the good on one side comes the bad on the other - there is, after all, a reason why marijuana is banned.

Its short term effects include:

- Short-term memory problems

- Paranoia

- Panic

- Hallucinations

- Lowered reaction time

- Loss of personal identity

- Increased heart rate and risk of heart attack

- Increased risk of stroke

- Coordination problems

Its long-term effects include:

- Decline in IQ (up to eight if smoking begins in adolescence)

- Impaired thinking and ability to learn and perform complex tasks

- Addiction (about 9% of adults and 17% of people who started smoking as teens)

- Antisocial behavior including stealing money or lying

With negative effects aplenty, it does not seem likely that pot will ever be made mainstream in conservative Singapore. However, the synthetic creation of chemicals found in the plant, if done correctly, could definitely be of great help.

What do you think? 

(Image Credit/s: Dulu The News Tribune, TripSavvy, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NUS)

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Drugs Singapore University Science NUS