Number of Singapore teens caught taking cannabis tripled in 2022: CNB
The drug enforcement agency points to a "worrying" trend of more new cannabis abusers below 30 years old, with some as young as 14.
SINGAPORE: The number of cannabis abusers aged below 20 who were arrested increased threefold from 8 in 2021 to 26 in 2022, according to an annual statistics report by Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).
They formed about a fifth of all youth drug abusers arrested in 2022.
The total number of cannabis abusers who were arrested also increased by 71 per cent from 138 in 2021 to 236 in 2022, CNB said in a news release on Wednesday (Feb 15).
Out of the 236 arrested for taking cannabis last year, 168 of them were new abusers, of which seven out of 10 were below the age of 30.
CNB director Sam Tee said the agency has observed “worrying" trends of increased cannabis seizures and a growing number of new cannabis abusers below the age of 30, with some as young as 14.
There was a 24 per cent increase in cannabis seizures from 107.08kg in 2021 to 133.25kg in 2022, CNB noted.
Methamphetamine remained the most abused drug in Singapore last year, with the 1,445 abusers arrested making up 51 per cent of the total number.
Mr Tee called the rise of cannabis abuse in Singapore a "major concern".
“Recent surveys have shown that, fuelled in part by the ‘normalising’ of abuse of cannabis in other parts of the world, a growing proportion of our youths may hold more permissive views on drugs," he said.
“Despite the harms of cannabis being well-evidenced by the medical community, including its potential for addiction, they do not think cannabis is harmful.
“CNB will increase our efforts to raise the awareness of our youths, about the harms of cannabis and drug abuse.”