Illegal Drugs in UAE: The Criminal Charges for Possession

Mar 2 20:43 2021 Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultancy Print This Article

The laws governing the possession and usage of narcotic drugs have contemporarily attained a lot of attention for the last decade.

Except for few countries,Guest Posting all others prohibit and restrict the possession, sale, manufacturing, and usage of narcotics and illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alike. Analyzing the statistics, UAE in 2018 has witnessed a ghastly increase in the usage and possession of drugs.

The legality and illegality of a drug generally depend upon its use as for what purposes the drug will be utilized. Narcotics drugs, if used for the purpose of medicines can cure severe diseases, however, if taken without a prescription and for illegal use can make an individual an addict. For instance, marijuana can assist in curing cancer, amphetamines are used for treating attention-deficit disarray, and barbiturates are used for addressing anxiety issues. On the other hand, illegal and un-prescribed drugs pose an imminent threat to the individual or society. Thus, every country issues a legislature in order to restrict or prohibit the illicit use of narcotics and illegal drugs in the country. Accordingly, UAE Has promulgated laws regarding the usage of such drugs and criminal penalties for those who possess these drugs without a relevant prescription. Beware should be those, who travel in UAE with un-prescribed medicines and illicit drugs for personal use.

For the sole reason of preserving securing and a healthy society, the lawmakers of UAE have issued stricter punishment for those who traffic drugs than those who possess drugs for personal use. It is evident from the recent amendments in the Drugs law where the authority has established an Addiction Treatment Unit supervised by Treatment Supervision Committee (the Committee) which will treat the individual as a patient and not as an addict which will assist him in his progress of rehabilitation and integration. The offender will only be given to the Committee if he presents himself directly either to the Public Prosecutor or the Committee itself.

According to the UAE Government, the foreign amendments are in the interest of society at large as drugs addicts are often socially outcasted and the process will help them retain their healthy life. Whereas, for regular offenders or drug traffickers, the law imposes harsh penalties in order to combat the widespread of bane in society. The Criminal Lawyers of Dubai, through this article, will guide their readers to understand the criminal consequences of possessing illegal and narcotics drugs in UAE. The article will further provide a detailed list of prohibited drugs in the country.

  1. What are the laws regulating possession of Narcotics and illegal drugs in UAE?

The Federal Law Number 8 of 2016 concerning the Combatting of Narcotics Substances (the Drugs Law), governs the possession and usage of narcotics drugs. The law imposes penalties on that manufacture, sell, use, possess, and import-export prohibited drugs in the country. In accordance with Article 6 of the Drugs Law, the import, export, manufacture, production, possession, procurement or abuse of a narcotic drug mentioned in the law is strictly prohibited. However, in several cases, the law allows the user to have possession of narcotics or psychotropic substances, depending upon the weight which should not exceed a prescribed limit followed by a prescription.

UAE has signed several treaties and conventions on narcotics and psychotropic substances and their usage. The foregoing conventions lay down control measures which ensure that the narcotics and psychotropic substances are not readily available to the layman. The conventions main objectives involves:

  1. Allowing narcotic and psychotropic substances only for medicinal and scientific purposes;
  2. Prevent the illegal use of such drugs;
  3. Eliminate drug trafficking.

The Drugs Law provides the application of such conventions, and Federal Law Number 4 of 1983 regarding Pharmaceutical Profession and Establishment highlights the basic requirements for purchase and sale of prescribed medicines.

  1. What criminal charges can be filed against an individual who is detained due to possession of narcotics drugs or was traveling with illegal drugs in the country?

In accordance with Article 6 of Drugs Law, the possession, manufacturing or selling of narcotics drugs is strictly detained. Thus, anyone found with illegal drugs will be straightaway arrested either at the airport if travelling to UAE or elsewhere. The matter will be then transferred to the public prosecutor, who will then draft a report, post receiving the lab result on such drugs, in order to determine the criminal intention of the offender. In the meanwhile, the offender can seek bail either through financial and/or personal guarantee; however, considering the gravity of the offence, the court might not grant bail.

Once the report is drafted, the matter will then be referred to the criminal court for adequate punishment. The penalties prescribed the Law depends on various factors which will be discussed below. The minimum sentence for such offence is 4 (four) years along with a fine not less than AED 10,000 and deportation in some cases.

  1. What are charges for importing, exporting or transporting narcotics drugs in the country?

Pursuant to Article 10 of the Drugs Law, the import and export of narcotic and psychotropic drugs are prohibited without written authorization from the Competent Administrative Authority. Wherein, Article 11 lays down the list of competent authorities; whose written confirmation can be utilized in importing and exporting narcotic drugs, which are as follows:

  1. UAE Government and recognized institutions;
  2. Government or licensed hospitals or clinics;
  3. Licensed scientists, chemical analysts or laboratories;
  4. Licensed pharmacies or storehouse or pharmaceutical factories;
  5. Agents of pharmaceutical companies or factories, authorized to do such profession.

The authorization shall be in the name of the director or the relevant person, on the basis of the application so signed. The competent authority has the discretion to accept or reject the application or reduce the quantity for security reasons.

The law further restricts the authorization to following individuals as mentioned under Article 12 of the Drugs Law:

  1. Anyone who has been charged for breach of trust;
  2. Anyone convicted under this law;
  3. Anyone convicted for assault, corruption or any property related matter.

The narcotic drugs reaching the customs at UAE can only be released upon a written withdrawal permit bearing the signature of the director of the entity in the prescribed format, reference Article 13 of the Drugs Law. It is pertinent to note that the import and export permit shall be considered null and void, if not utilized within 60 days.

  1. What are the penalties for possessing and using narcotics drugs in the country?

The Drugs Law imposes a penalty on the drug addict who has used the drugs in any manner or for personal use without proper prescription as mentioned by the law. There is a distinction between the penalties depending upon the type of offence. The Lawyers in Dubai have gathered the list of crimes under the Drugs Law and the equivalent punishment for the same as follows:

S.No. Offence Imprisonment Fine 1. Anyone who abuses drugs mentioned in Schedule 1,2,4 and 5 without specific authorization Not less than 4 years Not less than AED 10,000 2. Anyone who abuses mentioned in Schedule 3,6,7, and 8 without authorization Not less than 1 year and not more than 3 years Not less than AED 10,000 3. Anyone who abuses the narcotic drug or plant which is conducive to narcosis or harmful effect on the mind with such intention Not less than 1 year and not more than 3 years Not less than AED 10,000 4. Anyone who induce or incite another person to commit an offence under this law or facilitate the person with illegal drugs Not less than 5 years Not less than AED 20,000 5. Anyone with the intention of causing harm induces or incite other and thereby caused harm Not less than 7 years Not less than AED 20,000 6. Anyone who manages or set up a place for using narcotic drugs mentioned in Schedule 1,2, 4 and 5 Not less than 10 years and not more than 15 years Not less than AED 20,000 7. Anyone who manages or set up a place for using narcotic drugs mentioned in Schedule 3,6, 7 and 8 Not less than 7 years Not less than AED 20,000 8. Anyone who is aware of such a place or is apprehended that the person was his wife or husband Not less than 6 months and not more than 1 year Not less than AED 10,000

 

 

9. Anyone who imports, introduce, export, manufacture, produce or separated any drugs mentioned in schedule 3,6,7 and 8 Not less than 7 years and not more than 10 years Not less than AED 50,000 and not more than AED 200,000 10. Anyone who traffics or promotes the usage of such drugs Imprisonment for life Not less than AED 50,000 and not more than AED 200,000 11. Anyone who kills the public official in charge for implementation of the law Death Penalty  

 

  1. drugs are prohibited in the country?

The Drugs Law provides a non-exhaustive list of drugs divided in different schedules which are prohibited and restricted to use unless authorized by the Law. The list of drugs is in line with the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs, 1961 to which UAE is a signatory. Following are schedules highlighting prohibited drugs in UAE:

Schedule 1

Acetorphine Acetyl – alpha – methlfentanyl Acetylmethadol Alfentanil Allylprodine Opium Alphacetylmethadol Alphameprodine Alphamethadol Alpha – methylfentanyl Alphaprodine Pethidine – intermediate – A Anileridine Benzethidine Benzylmorphine Betacetylmethadol Betameprodine Phenazocine Betamethadol Betaprodine Bezitramide Cannabis Clonitazene Proheptazine Coca leaf Cocaine Codoxime Concentrate of poppy straw Desomorphine Sufentanil Dextromoramide Diampromide Diethylthiambutene Difenoxin Dihydromorphine Opium Dimenoxadol Dimepheptanol Dimethylthiambutene Dioxaphetyl butyrate Diphenoxylate Pethidine – intermediate – A Dipipanone Drotebanol Ecgonine Ethylmethylthiambutene Etonitazene Oxycodone Etorphine Etoxeridine Fentanyl Furethidine Heroin Pethidine – intermediate – B Hydrocodone Hydromorphinol Hydromorphone Hydroxypethidine Isomethadone Phenomorphan Ketobemidone Levomethorphan Levomoramide Levophe nacy lmorphan Levorphanol Properidine Metazocine Methadone Methadone – intermediate Methyldesorphine Methyldihydromorphine Thebacon Methylfentanyl Metopon Moramide – intermediate Morpheridine Morphine Noracymethadol Morphine Methobromide Morphine – N – Oxide MPPP Myrophine Nicomorphine Noracymethadol Oxymorphone Oxymorphone Normethadone Normorphine Norpipanone Phenoperidine Piminodine Piritramide Piminodine PEPAP Pethidine Racemethorphan Thebaine Tilldine Trimeperidine Phenodoxone Phenampromide  

 

Schedule 2

Acetyldihydrocodeine Codeine Dextropropoxyphene Dihydrocodeine Ethylmorphine Nicocodine Nicodicodine Norcodeine Pholcodine Propiram

 

Schedule 3

 

Preparation of:

 

a) Acetyldihydrocodeine b) Codeine. c) Dihydrocodeine. d) Ethylmorphine. e) Nicocodine. f) Nicodicodine. g) Norcodeine. h) And Pholcodine.

The drugs above when a compounded with other ingredients and comprise not more than 100 milligrams of the drug on single dosage of a unit and with a concentration of not more than 2.5 percent.

Preparations of propiram comprised of at least 100 milligrams of propiram for every dosage and compounded with the same amount of methylcellulose. Preparations for oral use consisting of not more than 135 milligrams of dextropropoxyphene base per dosage or with a concentration of not exceeding 2.5 per cent, subjected that such developments are not containing any substance controlled under the 1971 convention on Psychotropic Substances. Preparations of cocaine containing not exceeding 0.1 per cent of cocaine calculated as cocaine base and preparations of opium or morphine containing not more than 0.2 per cent of morphine estimated as anhydrous morphine base. It is compounded with one or more other ingredients and in such a manner that the drug cannot be recovered by readily applicable procedures or in a yield which would lead to a risk to public health. Preparations of difenoxin containing, per dosage unit, not more than 0.5 milligrams of difenoxin and some amount of atropine sulfate equivalent to at least 5 percent of the dose of difenoxin. Preparations of diphenoxylate comprising of per dosage unit, not exceeding 2.5 milligrams of diphenoxylate calculated as base and some amount of atropine sulfate equivalent to at least one percent of the dose of diphenoxylate. PULVIS IPECACUANHAE at EPII COMPOSITES:

 

·         10 percent opium in powder.

·         10 percent ipecacuanha root, mixed well in the dust.

·         80 percent of some other powdered substance containing no drug.

 

Schedule 4

PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 Ergot mushrooms Cannabis, male or female, in all its designations, such as hashish, Kamanja, bangoo, etc Narcotic fibres of cannabis stems Seeds and inhalants of the plant known as “al-qubba Poppy Cannabis seeds which are roasted so as to definitely ensure non-germination Mushroom is known as “Crow nest.” Papaver Poppy seeds which are roasted so as to definitely ensure non-germination Fruits and stems of the plant known as “Tabernananna”; Coca   Bast of the tree known as “Kaujnanth yohembi Kat   The base of the plant known as “Mahar Babuna.” Datura   Seeds of the plant known as “Convolvulus tricolour.” The plant is known as “Sakran.”  

 

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Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultancy
Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultancy

Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultantancy is a full-service law firm in UAE, duly licensed to perform legal services and advocacy in the United Arab Emirates with a head office in Dubai and a branch office in Abu Dhabi.  Our firm serves and represents both local and expatriate companies and individual clients.

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