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UAE Drug law

The United Arab Emirates and its wise leadership that always seeks to maintain the security and safety of its society and this is clearly demonstrated in the UAE anti-narcotics law, which is keen to impose strict and harsh penalties on anyone who tries to spread corruption in all its forms within society and prevent the security and stability of society.


Abuse of narcotic drugs and Psychotropic Substances:

In accordance with federal law No. 14 of 1995 on the control of narcotic substances and psychotropic substances, as amended, narcotic substances are any natural or synthetic substance of the substances listed in tables No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 annexed to this law, and psychotropic substances are any natural or synthetic substance of the substances listed in tables No. 5, 6, 7 and 8 annexed to this law. According to Article 34 of the same law, narcotic substances or psychotropic substances in any form may not be used or used personally except for treatment and under the prescription of the Attending Physician.

In case of any narcotic substances or psychotropic substances abuse mentioned in tables, he shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not less than two years, or a fine starting from ten thousand dirhams, in accordance with Article 39 of the same law.

In case of any narcotic substance or psychotropic substance abuse listed in tables  imprisonment for a period of not less than six months and up to a maximum of two years shall be imposed, or the penalty of a fine starting from ten thousand dirhams in accordance with Article 40 of the same law.

In case that a person intentionally possesses or uses narcotic substances with the intent to cause brain Anesthesia or to have any effect or damage on the brain, he shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a maximum period of one year, in accordance with Article 41 of the same law.

The law also grants the MOHAP and the Ministry of labor and Social Affairs the authority to establish specialized units for the treatment of addiction, whose members include representatives of the ministries of Interior, MOHAP, Labor and Social Affairs, Islamic Affairs, Endowments and the public prosecution. The duration of treatment or rehabilitation may not exceed two years.

According to Article 43 of the same law, if a person who uses narcotic substances or psychotropic substances heads to the addiction treatment unit by himself, the Public Prosecution Service or the police, or a person related to him, such as a husband, wife or a first and second degree relative, he shall not be prosecuted and placed for treatment in the addiction treatment unit until the unit decides the appropriate time to release him after he has fully recovered and returns a person together to the community who has a positive and meaningful impact.

However, it should be noted here that there are two cases that would eliminate this penal exemption from the person applying for treatment, namely:

  • If he does not adhere to the prescribed treatment plan
  • If he is found to be in possession of any narcotic substances, he did not hand them over to the public prosecution or the police before applying for treatment.


Penalties for poking, production, import and export or supplying of drugs

Imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and sometimes up to life imprisonment for anyone who has introduced narcotic substances to a person in his food, drink or other means with the intention of making him addicted.

In the case of re-repetition of these crimes shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or a fine of not less than AED 20 thousand

Execution if these narcotic substances cause the death of the victim.


Narcotic substances and research:

Sometimes narcotic substances are used in the field of medical and scientific research and sometimes their use is fateful in the field of medicine, so it was necessary to legalize the use of these substances under the supervision of the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and in accordance with decisions and conditions issued by the Council of ministers.

Having taken a look at the penalties of the Emirati law on combating narcotic drugs, we do not lose sight of the role of the state in supporting certain cases and encouraging them to change the course of addiction and to reduce the penalties imposed on them. If the drugs maker, drugs seller, drugs carrier, or the supplier of drugs or whatever his contribution to spreading drug addiction in society, he informs the judicial or administrative authorities of what he knows about them before the commission of the crime or if he gives them crucial information or facilitates the arrest of one of the perpetrators during the investigation, in accordance with Article 55 of federal law No. 14 of 1995, on combating narcotic drugs and Psychotropic Substances.


Read More The UAE Labor Law

Recent amendments to the UAE Drug Control Law 2021:

Under the UAE’s new or amended Anti-Drug Law, some of the harsh penalties for drug cases and possession have been commuted:

If people are caught in possession of cannabis (hashish) or products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active chemical in cannabis, and proven to have possession of it only for the first time, i.e. they have no history of possession of drugs or cannabis in particular; they will not be sentenced to imprisonment but will only be confiscated by the authorities and subsequently destroyed.


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