Drugs, crime and punishment Proportionality of sentencing for drug offences

A proportionality check should consider as an option that activities relating to certain acts or substances may be dealt with outside the realm of criminal law. For example, the possession, purchase or cultivation of drugs for personal use should not constitute offences.
  • Proportionality of sentencing
Proportionate sentencing frameworks should distinguish between the type of drugs and the scale of the illicit activity, as well as the role and motivation of the offender : serious or organised traffickers; micro-traffickers (low-level dealers or smugglers); people dependent on drugs; and people who use drugs occasionally (or ‘recreationally’).
  • Proportionality of sentencing
For drug-related offences committed due to drug dependency or to meet basic economic needs,  services such as treatment, education, aftercare, rehabilitation or social integration should be offered as more humane, effective and proportionate alternatives to conviction.
  • Proportionality of sentencing
  • Alternatives to punishment

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For a more comprehensive analysis, please read the full report.