El Gobierno de Singapur está tratando de aprovechar los beneficios médicos del cannabis, aunque mantiene unos castigos severos contra cualquiera que intente usar la planta en su forma natural. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.

A Singaporean government body has announced its upcoming research into synthetic cannabinoids for medical purposes, a curious step in a country that continues to impose the death penalty for certain cannabis offences.

In early January, the National Research Foundation (NRF) – a government body - announced that it would be investing $25 million SGD (£13.4m) into a Synthetic Biology Research and Development Programme. One of the programme’s four projects is entitled Synthetic Cannabinoid Biology: Repurposing Nature for Tomorrow’s Therapeutics. The NRF hopes that this project will allow the future delivery of “life-saving therapeutics derived from the cannabis plant in a sustainable manner”.

The NRF accepts that cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, can be used to treat a variety of ailments. However, as the cannabis plant is illegal in Singapore for any purpose, the NRF has commissioned this project with the intention of harnessing the medical potential that cannabinoids offer without the government having to change its drug legislation. By studying the molecular structure of cannabinoids, the project aims to “discover cannabinoid genes for the sustainable production of [synthetic] medicinal cannabinoids and their derivatives”.