Detention And Drug Dealing: Alleged Criminal Offences

Author:Arnone & Sicomo
Profession:Arnone & Sicomo

The possession and distribution of drugs is a very delicate issue, especially in relation to the specific aspect of the statute of limitation.

Criminal law on this matter is ruled by Presidential Decree n. 309/1990 (Consolidated Law on Drugs) which contains the rules concerning the arrest for drug dealing, illegal possession of drugs and drug trafficking organizations.

Our legal system does not include a full definition of narcotic substance or psychotropic substances, since our regulatory framework is based on a principle which classifies substances in a table attached to the aforementioned Presidential Decree, which is periodically updated by the Ministry of Health.

The Article. 73 of the Consolidated Law defines the following conducts as punishable:

cultivation, production, manufacture, extraction, refining; dealing, offering, sale, transferring, receiving, obtain for others, distributing, trading; carrying, sending, transit, dispatching in transit, delivering and possession; export and import of drugs. A specific offence to mention among all the types of offenses related to the possession and dealing of drugs, is the offence of Criminal association for the purpose of drug or psychotropic substance trafficking (Article 74), of facilitating the use of the substances de quo (Article 79); inciting others to use narcotic drugs, proselytism and induction to use (Article 82).

Production, possession and dealing of drugs: the penalties

Today the laws concerning the possession and dealing of drugs are essentially based on the distinction between light drugs and hard drugs and apply lighter punishments for crimes related to the first and harsher for those related to the second ones.

In detail: a) criminal irrelevance of personal use of narcotics. In this case that person does not commit a criminal offence but an administrative one pursuant to the article 75; The assessment of the destination of the drugs (whether for personal use or transfer to third parties which represents a criminal offence) is made by the judge using some parameters such as:

- the quantity;

- the quality and composition of the substance;

- the use of equipment for weighing or packaging of the substance and the concrete circumstances of the case.

  1. the criminal nature of the conduct described in the article 73 paragraph 1, in the event that the activities related to the importation, purchase or possession are aimed at the dealing. In this regard, the penalty imposed is...

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