By Andrew Loh
Rapper Snoop Dogg, also known as Snoop Lion, is scheduled to perform for the first time here in Singapore as part of the Formula 1 race festivities in September. He will appear at the 1 World Music Festival which will be held at the Marina Barrage on Sept 20 and 21.
There is only one small problem.
Snoop Dogg is known for smoking pot, or marijuana, and has been arrested several times over the years, in different countries, for drug and firearm possession.
Although he is “a legal medical marijuana patient” and has a license to carry the drug, given out by the State of California, the licence does not apply outside of that state.
His latest run-in with the law happened last year when he was detained and later banned from entering Norway after he tried “to get into the country with a small amount of marijuana.”
Earlier in January the same year, the 42-year old star, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, was arrested in Texas at the Mexican border for marijuana possession as well.
The latest controversy surrounding Snoop Dogg comes from several photos he uploaded online. In the photos, he is apparently posing with bag containing what is said to be a pound (448g) of marijuana which he supposedly won in a bet over a boxing match over the weekend.
Marijuana is a controlled drug in Singapore and possession of more than 500g could mandate a death sentence under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA).
Given Singapore’s zero tolerance stance on drugs, which has resulted in one of the highest state-sanctioned execution rates in the world, it is a valid concern that a well-known and popular celebrity like Snoop Dogg would be seen as promoting the drug culture to the public.
This is especially so given the resources that the Singapore Police Force has put in over the years to combat the drug menace.
Should a celebrity who promotes the use of a drug, and indeed openly and proudly expresses this, be given a platform in Singapore to promote himself?
Also, will the Singapore police be keeping an eye on the pop star and his entourage? In other words, will the police snoop on Snoop Lion?
Or as the article on TR Emeritus asked: “Will the Central Narcotics Bureau deny him entry or take any action if he were to be tested positive for illegal drugs? Or will they turn a blind eye as he is a foreign celebrity?”
It is left to be seen. In the meantime, one wonders if Snoop Dogg will be performing the following song, vulgarities and all: