Drug use and possession
Whoever produces, manufactures, acquires, possesses, imports, exports, or transports through the country drugs, can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison. This increases to between two to eight years, if the crime is committed as a business operation, as part of a criminal conspiracy, or by using a minor or drug-addicted person. However, if only a small quantity is involved, the punishment is up to 2 years in prison or a fine. The notion of acquiring or possessing includes consumption, consequently consumption itself is implicitly criminalised.
Most crimes have lower maximum sentences if the person committing it is an addict (based on the opinion of the forensic psychiatrist). The possession of small quantities of drugs by addicts is punishable with imprisonment up to one year, fine or work for the community.
Law provides for limited exemptions from punishment for possession of small quantity for personal use if the perpetrator takes part in a treatment or prevention programme.
The quantity is small if it contains less than:
- 1mg LSD;
- 0.6g heroin;
- 0.5g amphetamine or metamphetamine;
- 1g MDA, MDMA, N-etil-MDA (MDE), MBDB, 1-PEA and N-metil-1-PEA;
- 1g methadone;
- 0.9g morphine;
- 2g cocaine;
- 1g ketamine;
- 1g codeine;
- 0.8g dihydrocodeine;
- 1g petidin;
- 1g THC
Trafficking and drug related crime
Whoever offers or supplies narcotic drugs, or is engaged in the distribution, trafficking or dealing of such, commits a felony offence and shall be punishable with imprisonment between two to eight years. However, if only a small quantity is involved, the punishment is imprisonment up to two years. The punishment is imprisonment of 5-10 years if the crime is committed in criminal conspiracy, or using a drug-addicted person, or by an official person or a person performing public duties, near educational establishments, or on the premises of the armed forces or prison system. The punishment is imprisonment of 5-15 years or life-time imprisonment if a large quantity (the quantity is large if it exceeds 20 times the amount defined as small quantity). However, if the crime is committed by an addict, the maximum penalty is less severe: up to three years of imprisonment. If only a small quantity is involved and the trafficking is committed by an addict, the punishment is imprisonment up to one year, fine or labour in the public interest.
An adult giving drugs to a minor may be sentenced to up to ten years, unless the amount is only a small quantity, in which case up to five years.
As mentioned above, now both consumers and addicts can chose the treatment option (in this context the options to divert drug-using offenders into treatment have now been extended).
A person who produces, manufactures, acquires, possesses small quantities of drugs for personal use, or who offers small quantities of drugs to other people on the occasion of joint drug consumption, shall not be punishable, provided that he proves prior to the pronouncing of the sentence in the first instance that he has received continuous treatment (it takes more than two hours per week) for drug addiction or consumption, or has taken part in preventive health care services for at least six months. These services are free of charge even for those who have no health care insurance.
The treatment is entirely voluntary. If the person fully complies with the treatment it does not result in criminal record. If the person does not opt for the treatment, or if he opts but later does not comply with it, the suspended criminal procedure has to be continued and a criminal sentence has to be passed. However, the possibility of diversion is not unlimited: if the person commits another drug related crime within two years, the treatment option is not available any more.
The unauthorised manufacturing, possession, acquiring, trading, export, import of precursors is a crime and is punishable with imprisonment up to five years. Similarly, the handing over of precursors to an unauthorised person is a crime with the same penalty. There is no administrative offence related to precursors.
Alcohol and tobacco
The minimun legal age to use both use or purchase alcohol and tobacco is 18. The sale of tobacco is prohibited within 200m of schools and health care units. Vending machines selling tobacco are restricted. Children and persons under 18 cannot smoke anywhere even in the places where smoking is allowed. Tobacco cannot be sold to minors under 18 years or distributed as free samples.