Drug use and personal possession

Acquisition, possession and use of a small amount of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for one’s own consumption is punishable by a fine or detention up to 30 days. Detention means imprisonment for a misdemeanour (administrative offence) in the police arrest house rather than in a prison; it can be imposed by a court only, and its maximum length is 30 days.

A large quantity of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, plants or mushrooms is an amount that is sufficient to cause intoxication of at least ten people. The same rule applies in case of mixtures.

Supply

Inducing a person to illegally consume narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances is punishable by a fine or by up to 3 year of imprisonment.

Inducing a person of less than 18 years of age to illegally consume narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or other narcotic substances is punishable by 1-10 years imprisonment. If committed by a person who has committed another criminal offence related to drugs, it is punishable by 3-15 years imprisonment.

Providing of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances to persons of less than 18 years of age is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment. The same act, if committed by a group or by a person who has committed other criminal offence related to drugs, or if the object of provision is large quantities of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, is punishable by 3-15 years imprisonment. If the purpose of provision was to instigate a minor to provide narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or to aid such instigation, such an act is punishable by 6-20 years imprisonment or life imprisonment. For an offence provided for in this section, the court may impose a fine to the extent of assets as a supplementary punishment.

Estonian law also provides sanctions for provision of opportunity to illegally use narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances in private premises, unlawful delivery of such substances in custodial institution, preparation, acquisition and possession of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances by prisoner or person in detention or custody and consumption by prisoner or person in detention or custody of such drugs or substances without prescription, and driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated by a person who has been previously punished for the same act.

Trafficking, Cultivation, Precursors and other crimes

Any act of dealing with drugs not intended for personal use only, or handling of a large amount of drugs, is considered as a criminal offence, regardless of the type of illicit drugs.

Trafficking or mediation of small quantities of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, or manufacture, acquisition or possession of small quantities of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances with the intention of trafficking is punishable by a fine or up to 3 years’ imprisonment. The same act, if committed by a group or by a person who has committed other criminal offence related to drugs, is punishable by a fine or up to 5 years' imprisonment. This “other drug offence” may be any drug crime or a theft, robbery, illicit trafficking or provision of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or the handling of them in a penal institution.

Illegal manufacture, acquisition, possession, trafficking, mediation, transportation, import, export, transit or other illegal handling of large quantities of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances is punishable by 1 to 10 years’ imprisonment. A court may impose a fine to the extent of assets as a supplementary punishment. If committed by a legal person, it is punishable by a fine.

The same act, if committed by a group, or by a person who has committed other crime related to drugs, is punishable by 3 to 15 years' imprisonment. If such an act is committed for the purpose of large proprietary gain, or by a criminal organisation, it is punishable by 6 to 20 years’ imprisonment or life imprisonment. In both cases, a fine to the extent of assets as a supplementary punishment is also applicable. If committed by a legal person, such an offence is punishable by a fine or compulsory dissolution.

Cross-border smuggling of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or precursors is punishable by a fine or by up to 5 years’ imprisonment, and if committed by an official or by a group, by 2 to 10 years’ imprisonment. If committed by a legal person, such an offence is punishable by a fine.

Cultivation of opium poppy, cannabis or coca shrubs is punishable by a fine or up to 5 years imprisonment. The same act, if committed by a group, or by a person who has committed other criminal offence related to drugs, is punishable by 1-10 years imprisonment.

Preparation for distribution of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances is punishable by a fine or up to 5 years imprisonment. The same act, if committed by a legal person, is punishable by a fine.

Violation of requirements for handling narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or precursors thereof or of requirements for related recording keeping or reporting by a person responsible for such activities, if such violation, through negligence, results in illegal trade in narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, is punishable by a fine or up to 3 years’ imprisonment. The same act, if committed by a legal person, is punishable by a fine.

Theft of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or their precursors is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment. Robbery of such illicit substances is punishable by 3 to 15 years imprisonment.

NDPSA defines the administrative liability of legal persons. A fine of up to 50,000 Estonian kroons (approximately €3,200) is imposed on a legal person who violates the procedure for handling narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances or precursors.

Judicial practice

According to the Penal Code, the judge has a right to apply a suspended sanction or release from punishment, if he/she supposes that this is more appropriate in the circumstances (taking into account the features of the offence and characteristics of the offender). There are no conditions which forbid such a decision to be made, but probation for a period of three to five years shall be ordered.

In case of juvenile offenders, the Minors Sanctions Act (1998) provides a possibility to implement alternative sanctions (i.e., other than fine, detention or imprisonment).