Controlled Substances

Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are classified based on their harm to human health when they are abused and on their use for medical purposes. Three schedules comprise:

1. Plants, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, banned from medical use because of harm when abused. Introduction of these substances into the Republic of Lithuania is prohibited by the Decree of the Health Minister;
2. Plants, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances used for medical purposes, where abuse leads to harm, and they are considered highly harmful to human health;
3. Plants and psychotropic substances used for medical purposes, where abuse leads to harm, and they are considered harmful to human health.

Use of substances of schedule I for medical purposes is prohibited. Use of substances of schedule II and III is licensed. Regulation for prescription, acquisition and selling at pharmacies is established by the Ministry of Health.

Drug Use and Possession

Illicit production, acquisition, possession, transportation or shipment of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, are criminal offenses. An offender will be punished with imprisonment up to 2 years, or arrest (non-prison incarceration) of 15-90 days.

If the offender only commits a misdemeanour, there is no prison sentence but arrest of 10-45 days, or restriction of freedom (this may be obligations or prohibitions such as curfew, regular reporting, or community work). If a person possesses less than the recommended “small amount” he will be punished for committing a misdemeanour, but if this amount is larger than the “small amount” then he might receive a prison sentence. (A “large amount” is used in trafficking offences, below).

However, a person who surrenders narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances voluntarily is released from the penal liability for possession, acquisition, transportation and shipment of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances he surrendered. Similarly, a person who contacts a health care institution voluntarily regarding non-medical use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in order to receive medical assistance is also released from such penal liability.

Trafficking and drug-related crime

Illicit production, acquisition, possession, transportation or shipment of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, aiming to sell or otherwise distribute is punished with imprisonment from 2 to 8 years. If it is a large amount, imprisonment ranges from 8 to 10 years. For a very large amount, the sentencing range is 10 to 15 years.

For theft or seizure of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances a person is punished with imprisonment up to 5 years, or between 3 and 10 years if using physical or psychological violence. If the amount was large or it involved an organised crime group, the sentence will be from 5 to 15 years.

Pressure to use narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is punished with imprisonment up to 5 years (3 to 10 years if against a minor), and violation of regulations for production, acquisition, record keeping, transportation or shipment are punished with a fine or imprisonment up to 2 years, or depriving the persons of the right to occupy certain positions or to perform certain jobs or to be engaged in certain activities.

Illegal growing of oil poppies and cannabis results in a fine or punishment of imprisonment up to 2 years.

Intoxication when committing offences is considered as aggravating circumstances.

Prevention, care and substitution treatment

Drug treatment aims at the integration of drug addicts into society, based on organisation of special health care for such patients, diagnosis and treatment of health disorders, application of psychological, medical and social rehabilitation, and provision of social services and social care. Treatment of drug addicts is based on voluntary principles, except provisions in Law, that provides that a drug addict shall be compulsorily hospitalised based on provisions of the Law on Mental Health Care, i.e. according to medical indications of psychosis.

The Lithuanian law allow to use methadone hydrochloride and buprenorphine hydrochloride for substitution treatment for individuals dependent on opioids.

The prisons have their internal health care system and detoxification is provided to drug addicts as necessary, but there were no substitution therapy programmes implemented.

Precursors

Illegal activities with category 1 drug precursors are subjetc to sentences of up to 4 years of imprisonment. Illegal activities with category 2 and 3 precursors are subject to administrative penalties, attracting sentences of fine up to 10,000 litas (approximately €2,900).

Tobacco

The legal smoking age is 18. Smoking is prohibited in enclosed public places and workplaces, including bars, restaurants, cafés and clubs. Tobacco vending machines are restricted.

Alcohol

It is prohibited to sell alcohol to minors under the age of 18. Drinking in public is prohibited. Selling alcoholic beverages in stores is prohibited between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.