Perhaps you are right, but our country would never tolerate this kind of punishment.
...there's a reason why Singapore doesn't have the sort of drug or crime problem we do.
Singapore's heroin problem was in the same ballpark as the US in the mid 90's (latest comparative figures I could find):
"The GOS [Government of Singapore] nonetheless is concerned about the increase in addiction rates and recidivism among drug offenders who have undergone treatment. There are currently about 9,000 addicts [Singapore's population was about 3 million] undergoing rehabilitation in Singapore treatment centers, the same number as in 1995."
"There were an estimated 980,000 hardcore heroin addicts in the United States in 1999, 50 percent more than the estimated 630,000 hardcore addicts in 1992."
The Netherlands has extensive demand reduction programs and lowthreshold medical services for addicts, who are also offered drug rehabilitation programs. Authorities believe such programs reach about 7080 percent of the country's 25,000 harddrug users. [Netherlands population was about 15.1 million then]
Crunching the State Dept. numbers - Singapore had almost twice the rate of heroin addiction as the Netherlands. And Singapore's figure only takes into account the addicts under treatment, whereas the figure for Holland is the estimate of the total number of addicts.
And then there's Iran:
Iran has executed more than 10,000 narcotics traffickers in the last decade;"
"Iran has the highest proportion of heroin addicts in the world and a growing Aids problem."