Netflix responds to government demands and pulls cannabis content

Published Mar 4, 2020 10:00 a.m. ET
iStock / tcerovski

Netflix is one of the most extensive streaming services in the world and has a vast library content. It is well noted that Netflix movies provide some of the best stoner movies and shows around. Singapore residents will no longer be able to access Netflix movies with cannabis or drug titles or content as the country’s government issued this request in 2019.

For those that like to stream their TV viewing content by using the popular Netflix platform, perhaps Singapore is not the best place for you to do this. Choosing what to watch will be harder when the content that includes cannabis will no longer be an option provided by the giant streaming service. The government has demanded that cannabis shows be removed so that consumers will no longer be able to see their peers or movie idols on the big screen.

Netflix and cannabis content

Interestingly, the United States saw more than one million households stream cannabis-related content in 2019. The titles that have been removed so far from Singapore Netflix movies and cannabis videos include:

  • The Legend of 420
  • Disjointed
  • Cooking on High
  • The Last Temptation of Christ
  • The Last Hangover
  • Superbad
  • Dazed
  • Confused
  • Freaks and Geeks

Singapore has some of the most robust and harshest drug control laws, perhaps in the world. If you are unlucky enough to be found in possession of a small amount of drugs, you can be punished with up to ten years in a hard-core prison as well as a possible $20,000 fine. You could be delivered both of these punishments.

Trafficking now is a different punishment, and execution is delivered to you for having less than a pound of cannabis in your possession. It seems pretty clear that Singapore has no interest in rushing towards the global trends where cannabis is concerned. The trend is towards the legalization and decriminalization of drugs, including marijuana.

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) sees the permissive attitude that the use of cannabis exacts a high price for society. So This is the factor used in implementing strict laws in the country against possession, consumption import, and export of illicit drugs. This law includes all cannabis and derived cannabis products.

Netflix supplies programming in over 190 countries. Some of the countries that do not have this service include Syria, China, North Korea, and Crimea. These countries have stringent censorship laws and perhaps a noted and conflicting relationship with the United States government, and its rules.

Netflix Inc is an American owned media-services provider and production company. The companies services include film production, television production, and film distribution. The products that the company provides include streaming media and video on demand.

Singapore currently has two hundred and sixty-four thousand subscribers. This number of subscribers in Singapore has Netflix listening to the government's requests to wipe out the cannabis videos. So, the estimated two percent of Asia's cannabis use or 85.5 million people will have to wait to watch what they want on tv in the cannabis space, for perhaps a much later date down the green road.

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