Decriminalisation of drugs in Greece
The Greek government has made proposals to decrimanalise drugs in a bill put forward by the Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou to the committee on social affairs. In the bill there are several new propositions most noticeably the decrimanalisation of drugs so long as it only affects the behaviour and condition of the user.
The planned drug reforms came about due to two core statistics firstly the fact that over 300 deaths are officially linked to drug abuse each year and secondly 40% of prisoners are detained on crimes associated to drugs (the figures include theft). The reforms aim to reduce young drug users and reduce trafficking of illegal substances.
Under the reforms drugs for personal consumption will be classed as only misconduct so long as it is used for only private use. There will be reduced guilt so long as the person in question can prove that the possession, supply and cultivation of cannabis is only for their personal possession.
The reforms will also guarantee the right to treatment including those in prison. In the case of prisoners a detoxification and rehabilitation program will be provided regardless if the court has recognised the prisoner as an addict offender or not. This is in line with the belief that drug addicts need help and not prison sentences.
If a court deems someone as an addict offender or someone whom has committed a crime under the narcotic act then instead of jail they can go through a new therapeutic approach. The new approach includes:
1) Admission to an approved drug treatment program for detoxification and psychological monitoring
2) Granting conditional release for drug monitoring program
3) Deferred prosecution
4) Suspension of arrest warrant
5) Suspension of sentence
6) Compulsory military service deferral
The reforms don’t legalise the supplying of drugs though only the personal use of drugs. Drug trafficking will still be treated as a felony.