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Recreational weed user gets jail and caning for trafficking cannabis

Recreational weed user gets jail and caning for trafficking cannabis

Bags of cannabis. (Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

SINGAPORE: A "recreational" cannabis user of about four years was given five years and nine months' jail and five strokes of the cane on Tuesday (Jun 29) for trafficking the drug.

Derek Koh Kai Sheng, a 23-year-old fish breeder, obtained the drug from a supplier and intended to sell a brick of it for S$350.

The court heard that Koh used cannabis on and off for about four years until his arrest.

He was nabbed by Central Narcotics Bureau officers from the Intelligence Division in his flat at Block 980C Buangkok Crescent on Dec 4, 2019, on suspicion of illicit drug activity.

Multiple packets of vegetable matter containing at least 77.26g of cannabis were seized from him, along with drug utensils.

Koh admitted owning the cannabis for the purposes of sale. He facilitated the circulation of the drug by buying it from a supplier known only as Joe, or Joey Joe, and resold it to others.

He also possessed grinders that he used to turn the cannabis stems into fine cannabis, which he would roll into joints for his own consumption.

Koh pleaded guilty to three charges of trafficking a Class A controlled drug, possessing a controlled drug and having drug utensils. Another three charges were considered in sentencing.

The prosecutor said Koh has no previous convictions, but said the chief aggravating factor was how he had other trafficking charges taken into consideration.

Lawyer S S Dhillon asked for the minimum jail term and strokes of the cane, saying his client has no related previous conviction.

He has three other siblings and his parents are divorced, said Mr Dhillon. Koh was placed on probation when he was 16 for voluntarily causing hurt and he successfully completed this stint.

Since the 2019 drug incident, Koh has not reoffended, he said.

The judge advised Koh to get new friends and turn to his family for help when he gets out of prison, saying that he has seen young people reoffend because of their friends in such cases.

The mandatory minimum for drug trafficking is five years' jail and five strokes of the cane. The maximum is 20 years' jail and 15 strokes of the cane.

Source: CNA/ll

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