Travelling to Singapore? You may be drug tested for cannabis, Travel Canada warns

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If you’re travelling to Singapore, custom officers can request a drug test when you arrive, even if the drug was consumed before your arrival — which could result in your arrest.

Travel Canada made the warning Wednesday in the wake of cannabis legalization in Canada.

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In a tweet, Travel Canada warned, “custom officers can request drug test at the point of entry to #Singapore.”

“If you test positive for drugs, you can be arrested and prosecuted, even if the drugs were consumed prior to your arrival in the country,” the tweet said.

The tweet comes five days after Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) released a statement on drug use outside the country, and how Singapore citizens or permanent residents can still be prosecuted once in Singapore.

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“Any Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident found to have abused controlled drugs overseas will be treated as if he/she had abused drugs in Singapore,” the statement read. “CNB conducts enforcement checks at Singapore’s checkpoints and will take action against those found to have consumed drugs overseas.”

Although the statement specified Singapore citizens or permanent residents, the government of Canada’s travel advisory website says, “Custom officers can request a drug test on any traveller at the point of entry to Singapore.”

Singapore has harsh laws against cannabis. Currently, possession or consumption of cannabis can be met with up to 10 years in jail and/or a fine up to $20,000, according to CNB’s website. Illegal trafficking, import or export of cannabis can also lead to the death penalty.

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Countries close to Singapore, however, are softening on cannabis. Thailand has begun moving towards allowing the medical use of cannabis, with a target start date of May 2019, while Malaysia is also considering legalizing cannabis for medical use.

Cannabis can stay in your system for a variable amount of time, depending on the type of test on your amount of use,

According to the Mayo Clinic, cannabis can be detected in urine three days after use for an occasional user (three times a week), 10 to 15 days for a daily user, or more than 30 days for a heavy chronic user (multiple times a day).

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For a blood test, it is typically detectable for one to two days, but can increase with more use, and saliva testing it is detectable for one to three days for occasional users. That number rises to 29 days for heavy users, according to Heathline.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to confirm whether Canadian citizens will be screened for prior cannabis use when entering Singapore.

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