Feb 18, 2020 (Market Realist via COMTEX) -- Marijuana use is becoming popular worldwide . More countries understand medical marijuana's importance. As a result, countries are stepping up to legalize medical marijuana. Some countries also want to decriminalize cannabis and have open adult-use marijuana. Some countries, like Singapore, still have very strict marijuana laws. Recently, Singapore's government asked Netflix to block all marijuana shows and films in the country.
Singapore government asks Netflix to block marijuana shows
On February 7, a Marijuana Moment article discussed that Netflix agreed to stop streaming marijuana-related content in Singapore following a request from the government. Singapore is one of the strictest nations when it comes to marijuana and other drugs. The Singapore government asked Netflix to stop streaming the following shows and movies in the country:
Three shows on cannabis including Cooking on High, The Legend of 420, and Disjointed.
Two movies on cannabis including Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ and Brazilian comedy The Last Hangover
In the past, Netflix has received certain requests from governments.
Netflix took down other shows worldwide
Netflix has received demands from New Zealand, Vietnam, Germany, and Saudi Arabia's government to take down shows since 2015. However, the company didn't specify if the shows were related to marijuana. Netflix has clear rules that it will only take down content if the request is written down. The company wants to comply with local laws . Netflix considers written requests to be legal.
Taking down a few shows won't have much of an impact on Netflix's viewership or subscription. The company wants to diversify and expand its markets worldwide. Netflix expects to drive growth through its international operations . Requests to cut down on content could impact the company at some point. However, Netflix seems to be doing well right now. The company released impressive fourth-quarter earnings on January 21. Netflix beat the earnings and revenue estimates.
The company also saw the addition of 8.8 million subscribers globally . In the fourth-quarter results, Netflix discussed that it intends to invest in original content. Mainly, the company wants to focus on original local content . Complying with local laws will ultimately benefit the company in the long run. So far, Netflix /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX -2.02% stock has risen by 6.2% in February.
Strict marijuana laws in Singapore
Cannabis laws are pretty tight in Singapore. Any kind of marijuana is illegal in the country. Possession or consumption can land an individual in prison for ten years with a fine of $20,000. Trafficking results in the death penalty.
Meanwhile, Thailand legalized medical cannabis last year. The country is growing its medical cannabis industry and promoting its medicinal cannabis products. Malaysia might decriminalize small amounts of cannabis.
Other countries, like Mexico, could legalize marijuana this year. New Zealanders will have an opportunity to vote in favor of marijuana legalization in the general elections. Luxembourg also plans to legalize cannabis for adult use. To learn more, read Cannabis Legalization: The World Waits for the US .
However, Singapore isn't interested in other countries' marijuana-related actions. Home Affairs and Health Ministries said , "Cannabis is clearly addictive and harmful, and there is no scientific evidence of the safety and efficacy of raw cannabis use. The authorities also said, "This supports our position that cannabis should remain an illicit drug... We will continue to allow safe and controlled access to evidence-based medical treatment options."
What's happening in the US?
With cannabis spreading its roots globally, things are heating up in the US too. Democratic candidates are taking a bold stance to make marijuana legal in the US this year. Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Tulsi Gabbard shared their views about legalization. Overall, the cannabis industry started 2020 on a good note. However, Aurora Cannabis's /zigman2/quotes/210559470/composite ACB +0.08% string of bad news caused a dilemma for the cannabis sector. The company reported a bleak outlook for 2020, leadership changes, and job cuts on February 7. Now, many analysts doubt Aurora Cannabis and other cannabis stocks.
Aurora Cannabis fell 15% on February 7, while Canopy Growth stock fell by 7.2%. Meanwhile, Hexo fell 3.7% and Aphria /zigman2/quotes/207425803/composite APHA +1.33% fell 3.8%. OrganiGram /zigman2/quotes/209289540/lastsale OGI +0.58% and Cronos Group /zigman2/quotes/206842762/composite CRON -2.60% fell by 3.4% and 1.8%.