In Lithuania, the Law on Control of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances establishes the principles of the classification of such substances and the regulations for any medical use, and the Criminal Code specifies the crimes and punishments possible.
Consumption of drugs is an administrative offence punishable by a fine of EUR 30 to EUR 150 for a first offence; participation in a rehabilitative programme might also be ordered. Since January 2017, procurement and possession of a small amount of an illicit drug with no intent to distribute has been a criminal offence (misdemeanour) punishable by community service or restriction of liberty or an arrest (non-prison incarceration) of 10-45 days. The same action involving more than the defined small amount is a criminal offence punishable by up to 2 years’ imprisonment.
Drug traffickers may be sentenced to 2-8 years’ imprisonment, which may increase to 3-12 years, 8-10 years or 10-15 years, depending on the quantities involved and the presence of aggravating circumstances (e.g. the involvement of minors or an organised group). A Ministry of Health regulation defines small, large and very large quantities of all drugs.
New psychoactive substances are controlled when added to the list of controlled drugs: List of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances. Since 2011, this list has defined several generic groups, enabling a broad control.
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.
Data on DLOs from Lithuania indicate that the number of DLOs increased up to 2015. After a slight drop reported in 2016, the number of DLOs increased again in 2017. A similar trend was noted for all criminal offences recorded in Lithuania in this period. According to the Ministry of the Interior, the vast majority of the DLOs in 2017 were linked to the possession of psychotropic substances for purposes other than distribution.