The use and possession of illicit drugs are criminal offences under the Penal Law on Narcotics (SFS 1968:64). The punishment for possession offences depends on the severity of the offence, which is classified as minor, ordinary or serious. The severity of the offence takes into consideration the nature and quantity of drugs used or possessed as well as other circumstances. Penalties for minor drug offences are fines or up to six months’ imprisonment; for ordinary drug offences up to three years’ imprisonment; for serious drug offences 2-7 years’ imprisonment; and for particularly serious drug offences, 6-10 years’ imprisonment.
Sweden also operates a system of classifying substances as ‘goods dangerous to health’, which may be used to control goods that, by reason of their innate characteristics, entail a danger to human life or health and are being used, or can be assumed to be used, for the purpose of intoxication. Goods covered by the Act on the Prohibition of Certain Goods Dangerous to Health (SFS 1999:42) may not be imported, transferred, produced, acquired with a view to transfer, offered for sale or possessed. Importing such goods is punished in the same way as drugs offences; for other breaches of the provisions, a penalty consisting of a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of one year can be imposed. The Law on Destruction of Certain Substances of Abuse (SFS 2011:111) came into effect in 2011 to enable the confiscation and destruction of new psychoactive substances (NPS) before their official classification as narcotics, with no other penalty for the owner.
Legal penalties: the possibility of incarceration for possession of drugs for personal use (minor offence)
NB Year of data 2015.
Reported drug law offences in Sweden
NB Year of data 2015.
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 implementation of drug laws and to improve strategies.
According to the official criminal statistics for Sweden, there was a steady increase in the number of DLOs registered up until 2013 (when 99 175 DLOs were reported), but in the last two years fewer DLOs have been reported. Drug use and possession offences predominate.