The Criminal Code, which has been in force since 2010 (Act No 40/2009), is the major act covering drug-related offences in Czechia, although minor offences are addressed under the Act on Violations (Act No 200/1990). The Criminal Code regulates several aspects of drug-related offences, such as drug trafficking, the unauthorised possession of drugs, the conditions of prosecution, the diversion of prosecution and types of penalties. The lawful handling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and precursors is subject to regulation in accordance with the Addictive Substances Act (Act No 67/1998).
Drug use is not an offence in Czechia, and the cultivation or possession of small quantities for personal use is a non-criminal offence under the Addictive Substances Act (Act No 67/1998), punishable by a fine of up to CZK 15 000 (EUR 555). The Criminal Code has introduced a distinction between cannabis and other drugs for criminal personal possession offences: possession of a quantity of cannabis ‘greater than small’ attracts a prison sentence of up to 1 year, while possession of other substances is punishable by up to 2 years’ imprisonment. For any substance, the range increases to between 2 and 8 years if the quantity of drugs is ‘significant’. In 2014, the Supreme Court interpreted ‘quantities greater than small’ as being in ‘manifold excess of a normal dose’ and adopted all the quantity limits from a governmental regulation previously annulled (by the Constitutional Court), except for cannabis and methamphetamine, for which it decreased (i.e. tightened) the limits.
A number of general alternatives to imprisonment are available to the court, such as suspended sentences, community service and probation with treatment. Secure detention with compulsory treatment is a possible response to crimes by people who are drug dependent and are deemed to be socially dangerous; detention is also an option for juvenile delinquents.
Penalties for drug supply range from 1 to 5 years and from 10 to 18 years of imprisonment, depending on various specified aggravating circumstances, such as the involvement of minors, large quantities of drugs, organised crime, or injury or death.
In order to facilitate a more timely control of new substances, in 2014 the list of controlled substances was removed from the Addictive Substances Act, and instead included in a government regulation (No 463/2013 Coll., on the lists of addictive substances). In 2017, 63 additional substances were added to the list of controlled substances.
Drug law offence (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.
Statistical data from Czechia on DLOs indicate that supply offences predominated in 2017. Additional data on drug law offenders in the country suggest that offences relating to cannabis are the most frequent administrative offences, while methamphetamine-related offences are the main criminal offences.