Drug use and possession

Drug use and possession for personal use do not constitute a criminal offence in Spain.

However, drug consumption in public and illicit possession, even if not intended for trafficking, are serious order offences and may be punished with fines ranging from €300-30,000. The payment of the fine can be suspended if the person freely attends an official drug treatment programme.

Trafficking and drug related crime

The Spanish law establishes different circusntances that need to be considered for fixing the penalty for drug trafficking and related crimes, such as selling. In that sense, the law foresees that judge should take into account the seriousness of the health damaged associated to the drugs, as well as aggravating and mitigating circumstances. Among the aggravating circumstances are: selling drugs to under 18 or in schools, prisons or military establisments, drugs are adulterated, big quantities of drugs are involved, drugs are sold in public establishments by employees of the esblishment or are offered to those undergoing drug treatment, etc.

In those cases, sentences could reach up to 20 years. When no aggravating or mitigating circumstances exist, those who committed the crime can be sentenced to prison for 1 to 3 years, and from 3 to 9 years when the drugs cause a serious health damage. In all cases a fine is imposed and the drugs and goods used are seized as well as the income.

Substitution of sentences

Spanish law gives the judge the possibility of suspending the sentence when the person commits the crime under the influence of drugs or withdrawal symptoms, or because of their dependency. Which means there must be a causal relationship between crime and drug dependencies. The prison sentence can not exceed five (5) years and the suspension may be maximun for three (3) years.

These people can benefit from unemployment grants and will be taken into account by the employment policies carried out by the government.


Any person manufacturing, transporting, distributing, trading in or possessing precursor substances, knowing that there are to be used in illicit cultivation, production or manufacture of toxic drugs, narcotics or psychotropic substances, or for these purposes, may be punished by imprisonment for a term of from 3 to 6 years and a fine of three times the value of the goods or merchandise.

Violations of these provisions are divided into three types of offences; major, serious, and minor. Major offences are, for instance, dealing in chemicals without the necessary licence or registration and are punishable by withdrawal or suspension of licence for 5-10 years and a fine of €90,000-600,000. A Serious offence is, among others, breaches of documentation and labelling requirements and are punished by suspension of licence for up to 5 years and a fine of €6,000-90,000. Minor offences are all the other breaches of law than those specified as major or serious, and will be punished by a fine of up to €6,000.

Harm reduction programmes

Needle and Syringe Programmes (NSP): 2274 operational NSP sites including fixed sites, vending machines, pharmacy-based NSP sites and mobile NSPs operating from a vehicle or through outreach workers. Needles and syringes reported to be available for purchase from pharmacies or other outlets.

Opium Substitution Treatment (OST): 497-2,229 operational OST programs, including publicly and privately funded clinics and pharmacy dispensing programs based on buprenorphine, methadone and heroin-assisted therapy.

Drug consumption room: 7


You must be at least 18 to purchase and to smoke tobacco in Spain. Smoking is forbidden in the workingplace, bars and restaurants, as well as in hotels, nightclubs, shopping centres, airports, theatres and in any place where public events are held. There are some restrictions on smoking in open places.


It is illegal to sell alcohol to people under 18, the fine being €30,000-600,000. Stores are not allowed to sell alcohol between 10 pm and 9 am without a specific license. Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is penalised with 8-12 weekends of arrest, or a fine, plus the loss of the driving license for between 1 to 4 years. Refusing to give a breath test can be punished by imprisonment for six to twelve months and loss of license.