Portugal Country Drug Report 2017

Drug laws and drug law offences

National drug laws

The main drug law in Portugal is Decree Law 15/93 of 22 January 1993, which defines the legal regime applicable to the trafficking and consumption of narcotic drugs and psychoactive substances.

The Portuguese legal framework on drugs changed in November 2000 with the adoption of Law 30/2000, which has been in place since July 2001, which decriminalised illicit drug use and related acts. However, a person caught using or possessing a small quantity of drugs for personal use (established by law, this should not exceed the quantity required or average individual consumption over a period of 10 days), where there is no suspicion of involvement in drug trafficking, will be evaluated by a local Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction, composed of a lawyer, a doctor and a social worker. Punitive sanctions can be applied, but the main objective is to explore the need for treatment and to promote healthy recovery.

Drug trafficking may incur a sentence of 1-5 or 4-12 years' imprisonment, depending on specific criteria, one of these being the nature of the substance supplied. The penalty is reduced for users who sell drugs to finance their own consumption.

Decree Law 54/2013 was adopted in April 2013. It prohibits the production, export, advertisement, distribution, sale or simple dispensing of NPS named in the list accompanying the Decree Law and sets up a control mechanism for NPS. Administrative sanctions including fines of up to EUR 45 000 can be imposed for offences under this law, while a person caught using NPS, but who is not suspected of having committed another offence, is referred to a local Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction.

Legal penalties: the possibility of incarceration for possession of drugs for personal use (minor offence)

NB Year of data 2015.

Reported drug law offences and offenders in Portugal

NB Year of data 2015.

Drug law offences

Drug law offences (DLO) data are the foundation for monitoring drug-related crime and are also a measure of law enforcement activity and drug market dynamics; they may be used to inform policies on the implementation of drug laws and to improve strategies.

In 2015, around two thirds of drug law offences in Portugal were related to possession. The majority of drug law offences were linked to cannabis, followed by heroin-and cocaine-related offences.


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