Denmark Country Drug Report 2019

Drug laws and drug law offences

National drug laws

In the Consolidated Act on Controlled Substances of 2016, the import, export, sale, purchase, delivery, receipt, production, processing and possession of drugs are defined as criminal offences. The penalty under this act is a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of 2 years. Drug use is not mentioned as an offence. Illegal possession for personal use usually results in a fine, the size of which varies depending on the type and quantity of drugs involved and prior offences. In some cases, the possession of dangerous drugs for personal use can also result in a penalty of short-term imprisonment. The distribution of drugs in restaurants, discotheques or similar places frequented by children or young people has been deemed to be a significantly aggravating circumstance that should always be punished with a prison sentence.

Offences are punished under Section 191 of the Criminal Code, rather than the Act on Controlled Substances, if they involve the transfer of, or the intention to transfer, at least 25 g of heroin or cocaine, 50 g of amphetamines or 10 kg of cannabis. The maximum penalties under Section 191 of the Criminal Code are imprisonment for 10 years, or 16 years if a considerable quantity of a particularly dangerous drug is involved.

No alternatives to punishment are specified for drug-related offences. However, probationary measures can be applied at the sentencing stage, if the court finds punishment unnecessary (these may be applied in the case of any crime) and the law mentions an obligation to undergo treatment as one of these measures.

Medical prescription of heroin to people with a drug dependency has been legally possible since 2008, and legislation enabling the establishment and operation of drug consumption rooms has been in place since 2012. In 2016, the law was amended to allow assisted injection by another person (staff excluded) in drug consumption rooms.

Since 2012, group bans in the Act on Controlled Substances can apply a generic classification to control certain new psychoactive substances entering the country.

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Drug law offences

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.

The data from Denmark indicate some reduction in the number of reported DLOs in recent years. The majority of DLOs are linked to the possession of illicit drugs, while fewer than one fifth of offences are related to supply.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.