2nd Minister for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said on Friday that the government would not legalize cannabis as a "soft drug", arguing that the move is "wrong and dangerous".
Masagos was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 20th Anti-Drug Abuse campaign at Suntec.
He said that arguments that cannabis is not as harmful as other drugs are "myths" perpetuated online through social media and "foreign news reports" as they have not been scientifically proven. For example, the so-called medicinal benefits of marijuana “are not conclusive”, Masagos said.
Masagos also noted that the drug has not been approved by the US' own Food and Drug Administration.
The minister also added that cannabis is especially addictive and "harmful to young people".
Despite Singapore's tough anti-drug laws, the media has reported an increase in drug arrests over the last 5 years. Last year, there were 1,110 abusers aged below 30, an increase of 34% from 826 arrests in 2010.
“My message to youths is this: Keep saying no to drugs, whatever form they come in. They will ruin your lives and your future.”