Possession of Drugs

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Possession of controlled drugs - cannabis or cannabis resin
Under the Misuse of Drugs Acts anyone found in possession of cannabis or cannabis resin is guilty of an offence. If the court decides that the drug was for personal use and not for sale or distribution and this was a first offence, it can impose a class D fine on summary conviction in a District Court. On conviction on indictment, the defendant can be fined €1,270. For a second offence, a class D fine may be imposed and on conviction on indictment, a fine of €2,540 can be imposed. For a third or subsequent conviction, a class C fine can be imposed. If the court decides, a prison sentence of not more than 12 months can be imposed as well. On conviction on indictment, the court may decide on an appropriate fine and/or a prison sentence of up to three years can be imposed

Possession of any other controlled drugs

It is an offence to be in possession of a controlled drug and on summary conviction for this offence, you could be liable for a class C fine or a prison sentence of no longer than 12 months. If the court decides, you could be liable for both. On conviction on indictment for possessing controlled drugs, the court can decide on an appropriate fine and you could also be liable for a prison sentence of not more than seven years. Again, if the court decides, you could be liable for both.

Growing cannabis plants or opium poppies

It is also an offence to grow cannabis plants or opium poppies and on summary conviction for this offence, you could be liable for a class C fine or a prison sentence of no longer than 12 months. If the court decides, you could be liable for both. On conviction on indictment for growing these plants, the court can decide on an appropriate fine and you could also be liable for a prison sentence of not more than 14 years. Again, if the court decides, you could be liable for both.

Regulations regarding opium

It is an offence to use prepared opium (e.g., heroin) for illegal use, to go to a place for the purposes of using opium or to have any paraphernalia (pipes, utensils) associated with illegal opium use in your possession. On summary conviction for this offence, you could be liable for a class C fine or a prison sentence of no longer than 12 months. If the court decides, you could be liable for both. On conviction on indictment for this offence, the court can decide on an appropriate fine and you could also be liable for a prison sentence of no more than 14 years. Again, if the court decides, you could be liable for both.

 

Possession of controlled drugs for sale or supply

Under the legislation, it is an offence to be in possession of a controlled drug with the intention of selling it illegally. Anyone found guilty of this offence is liable to a class C fine on summary conviction in a District Court. If the court decides, he or she could be subject to a fine and a prison term not exceeding 12 months. On conviction on indictment for this offence, the court can decide on an appropriate fine. The court can also impose a life sentence for this offence if it decides it is necessary. However, lesser sentences can also be imposed, either with a fine or alone.

Where the market value of the drugs is €13,000 or more, the person convicted is liable for a minimum sentence of 10 years. This does not apply, however, where the court is satisfied there are exceptional circumstances. Similar penalties apply to somone convicted of importing drugs with a value of €13,000 or more.

Anyone found guilty of supplying or attempting to supply a controlled drug into a prison, children detention school or remand centre can receive a class B fine on summary conviction or a prison term not exceeding 12 months or both. On conviction on indictment, the court can impose an appropriate fine or a maximum prison term of 10 years or both.

Under the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010 it is an offence to sell or supply for human consumption substances which are not specifically proscribed under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, but which have psychoactive effects. Anyone found guilty of such an offence is liable for a class A fine on summary conviction or imprisoned for a term not exceeding 12 months or both. On conviction on indictment they can be fined or imprisoned for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.

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