In Romania, penalties have been linked to the type of drug — ‘risk’ or ‘high risk’ — since 2004, and there are separate concepts of user and addict, according to diagnosis. The changes to the Criminal Code from 2014 reduced several penalty ranges for supply offences.
Drug consumption is forbidden, but no punishment is specified. In the case of possession for personal use of ‘risk’ drugs, the court can impose a fine or a prison sentence of three months to two years, while possession of ‘high-risk’ drugs attracts a prison sentence of six months to three years. A drug user who is convicted of any of these offences can avoid prison by agreeing to attend an integrated assistance programme; the consent of the drug user is a prerequisite for inclusion in such a programme. This has been enabled by, and is clearly defined in, the new Criminal Code, from 2014 (in line with an overall trend in the EU for such offences).
All actions related to the production and sale of ‘risk’ drugs are punishable by two to seven years’ imprisonment, while the range is 5-12 years for ‘high-risk’ drugs. The import or export of ‘risk’ drugs is punishable by 3-10 years’ imprisonment, which in the case of ‘high-risk’ drugs increases to 7-15 years.
Following the emergence of new psychoactive substances in Romania in 2009-10, two initiatives were adopted in 2011. The first strengthened the enforcement of various existing laws, such as consumer safety laws and tax laws; the second was a new law penalising the unauthorised supply of any products with potential psychoactive effects, regardless of their intended use. The new law defines the characteristics of such products as well as the procedure for authorising the supply of such products. Violations of the law are crimes punishable by prison sentences of six months to three years (the sentence is reduced if the psychoactive effects were not actually known to the seller).
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.
In 2016, a total of 7 140 people were investigated for DLOs in Romania.