Drug possession

Drug possession is the crime of having one or more illegal drugs in one's possession, either for personal use, distribution, sale or otherwise. Illegal drugs fall into different categories and sentences vary depending on the amount, type of drug, circumstances, and jurisdiction.[1] A person has possession of drugs if he or she has actual physical control of the drugs (they have the drugs in their hands) or if the drugs are on that person.[2] [3] A person also has possession of drugs if he or she has the power and intent to control their disposition and use.[4]

In the United States, the penalty for illegal drug possession and sale can vary from a small fine to a prison sentence. In some states, marijuana possession is considered to be a petty offense, with the penalty being comparable to that of a speeding violation. Generally, however, drug possession is an arrestable offense, with repercussions including large fines and possible incarceration or probation.

In Singapore, 70% of executions are for drug-related offenses, which encompasses drug possession.[5] There is a national drug control law known as the Misuse of Drugs Act used to assess and determine drug trafficking. Drug possession can account for imprisonment, caning and capital punishment, based on the amount of controlled drugs a person possesses.


  1. David W. Rasmussen, Brhguce Benson (1994). The Economic Anatomy of a Drug War. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8476-7910-1.
  2. R v Amanatidis [2001] NSWCCA 400, [9]. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/nsw/NSWCCA/2001/400.html?query=
  3. R v Shipley [2014] QSC 299. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/disp.pl/au/cases/qld/QSC/2014/299.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=Filipetti
  4. For example, in Australian Law He Kaw Teh v R [1985] HCA 43.AustLII
  5. "Singapore Death Penalty Shrouded In Silence". Reuters. 2002-04-12. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
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