Interactive map: death penalty for drug offences 2018

All data contained in the map are the minimum known number of executions and death sentences from 2018. The figures are extracted from our report: Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2018, available here, and regularly updated when new information becomes available.

LEGISLATION TABLE

The following table provides a snapshot of the different drug laws in place in high application countries, prescribing the imposition of capital punishment for drug offences. Although a degree of simplification is inevitable, this comparison shows how diverse – and inconsistent – these laws are.

The symbol ‘T’ means an offence is punishable by death only if committed “for the purpose of trafficking”.

Explanation for the offences:

BAHRAIN 2

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing: ✓ T
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

  • Leading drug trafficking ring
  • Divert legally possessed substances

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

List of over 20 drugs including heroin, cannabis, cocaine, opium.

No minimum quantities specified.

BANGLADESH 3

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

  • Heroin and cocaine: 25 g
  • Morphine: 10 g
  • Opium and derivatives: 2 kg
  • Cannabis: 2kg
  • Methadone: 50 g
  • Methamphetamine: 200 g

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM 4

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Offer to sell, give, administer, transport, send, deliver, distribute drugs (trafficking quantities)

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Production and simple possession:

No minimum quantities specified.

Possession for purpose of trafficking:

  • Opium: 1500 g
  • Morphine/Diamorphine: 30 g
  • Cannabis: 600g (resin 300g)
  • Methamphetamine: 30 g

Trafficking:

  • Opium: 1200 g
  • Morphine and Diamorphine: 15g
  • Cocaine: 30g
  • Cannabis: 500 g (200g for resin)
  • Methamphetamine: 15g

CHINA 5

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting: *
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

  • Divert legally possessed substances with purpose of profit
  • Lead drug trafficking ring
  • Use arms to cover up smuggling, trafficking, transporting or manufacturing drugs
  • Use violence to resist inspection, detention or arrest in a serious situation
  • Take part in organised international drug trafficking activities

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Trafficking and production:

  • Opium: 1,000g
  • Heroin: 50g

Other narcotics: “large quantity” Other offences: no minimum quantity

CUBA 6

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes: ✓ T

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

“Drugs, psychotropic substance or any other substance with similar effects”.

No minimum quantities specified.

The death penalty can only be imposed if these crimes are committed by a public official or with public resources; or, for trafficking if as part of an international operation.

EGYPT 7

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

  • Divert legally possessed substance
  • Induce or coerce others into using
  • Even abroad, forms or manage, join, have complicity in an organization whose objective is provide or trading in narcotic substances or provision of such substances, or commit any of these drug-related offences
  • Manage or prepare any premises for the use of narcotic substances.

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

List of over 100 substances, among which methadone, morphine, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, opium, amphetamine.

No minimum quantities specified.

INDIA 8

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production: *
  • Possession: *
  • Trafficking: *
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

For possession, production, trafficking:

  • Opium: 10 kg
  • Morphine: 1kg
  • Heroin: 1kg
  • Cocaine: 500 gr
  • Hashish: 20kg
  • Methamphetamine: 1500 gr
  • Other specified substances

INDONESIA 9

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing: *
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

  • Conspiracy to commit a drug offence
  • “Use [substances] against others” resulting in death or permanent disability (no minimum quantity)

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

All crimes:

  • Opium (raw or refined), cocaine, cannabis, heroin & 21 other substances: 5g
  • Plants: 1kg or 5 “trees”
  • Fentanyl, methadone & 85 other substances: 5g

IRAN 10

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

  • Armed smuggling
  • Provide financial support to/invest in drug offences
  • Act as a ringleader
  • Repeat drug offence (with previous conviction for death, life imprisonment or imprisonment exceeding 15 years)

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Production and trafficking (first offence):

  • “Natural substances” (cannabis, hashish, grass, opium, etc): 50kg
  • “Synthetic substances” (heroin, morphine, cocaine & other chemical by-products): 2kg

Possession and storing (first offence):

  • “Natural substances”: only if recidivist and over 20kg
  • “Synthetic substances”: 3kg

IRAQ 11

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Death penalty only imposed when trafficking is committed “with aim of funding or abetting activities using force or violence aimed at overthrowing the State or terrorist acts where casualties resulted”

JORDAN 12

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Substances and quantities not available.

Death penalty only imposed if:

  • Offender participated in an international drug trafficking gang
  • Crime was committed in conjunction with other international crimes (such as arm smuggling or money counterfeiting)

KUWAIT 13

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Substances and quantities not available.

LAO PDR 14

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

  • Heroin: 500 g
  • Amphetamines of psychotropic substances: 3000 g
  • Precursors: 10 kg

LIBYA 15

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Any narcotic or psychotropic substance as defined in the controlled drugs schedules.

No minimum quantities specified

MALAYSIA 16

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production:
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting: ✓ T
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Possession presumed for trafficking:

  • Heroin: 15g
  • Opium: 1,000g
  • Cannabis: 200g
  • Cocaine: 40g
  • Amphetamines: 50g

Part of a list of over 160 substances

MAURITANIA 17

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production: *
  • Possession: *
  • Trafficking: *
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

High risk drugs

(schedules not available)

Aggravating circumstances:

  • The offense is committed in a framework of organised crime
  • Where violence or weapons have been used by whoever committed the crime
  • Where the drugs have caused death

MYANMAR 18

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production:
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Communicating to effect import and export of a narcotic drug or psychotropic substance

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Possession presumed for trafficking:

  • Heroin, Morphine: 3g
  • Opium: 100 g
  • Cannabis: 75 g
  • Cocaine: 3 g

+ any substance indicated by the Government

NORTH KOREA

Sources not available.

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

OMAN 19

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

List of over 160 substances, including heroin, cocaine, cannabis.

No minimum quantities specified.

PAKISTAN 20

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Use violence or arms to commit any of the relevant crimes

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Minimum quantity: 1 kg

  • Coca leaf, cannabis, heroin, opium, poppy straw and all manufactured drugs.

PALESTINE 21

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Substances and quantities not available

QATAR 22

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

“Drugs of all types and classes”

No minimum quantities specified.

Trafficking only punishable with death penalty:

If the offender is recidivist or public official charged with narcotics control.

No minimum quantities specified.

SAUDI ARABIA 23

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

List of 114 substances including: heroin, opium, cannabis, cocaine & methadone

No minimum quantities specified

SINGAPORE 24

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production:
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting v:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Production:

Morphine, heroin, cocaine & methamphetamine: no minimum quantity

Trafficking:

  • Opium: 1,200g
  • Morphine: 30g
  • Heroin: 15g
  • Cannabis: 500g
  • Cannabis resin: 200g
  • Cocaine: 30g
  • Methamphetamine: 250g

SOUTH KOREA 25

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production: *
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking: *
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting: *
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

  • Induce or coerce minors into using
  • Handling narcotics (excluding marijuana) without approval

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

  • Poppy, Opium, coca leave and any extract
  • Chemical compounds “feared to be abused or to cause harmful effects” as listed by Presidential Decree
  • Psychotropic drugs
  • Cannabis

No minimum quantities specified

SOUTH SUDAN 26

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

  • Induce or coerce others into using
  • (Offer to) supply, administer to, procure drugs for any person.

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

List of specified substances including coca bush/leaf, raw/prepared opium, cannabis plant

The death penalty can only be imposed if aggravating circumstances exist:

  • Offence committed as part of organised drug crime, or employing weapons or violence
  • Abuse of public office
  • Incite minors to consume or deal in a dangerous drug
  • Recidivism

No minimum quantities specified

SRI LANKA 27

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Commit any drug offences with the use of a gun

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Production:

  • Heroin, cocaine, morphine, opium (no minimum quantity specified)

Possession and Trafficking:

  • Opium: 500g
  • Cocaine: 2g
  • Heroin: 3g

SUDAN 28

  • Is it mandatory? YES 29
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

  • Possession of arms or explosive with intention of committing any drug offence
  • Provision/ facilitation of provision of any drug
  • Authorization to any person to possess any drug
  • Preparation, furnishing, management of any place for consumption of /dealing/ circulation of any drug

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

List of over 100 substances, including opium, cannabis, heroin and cocaine

The death penalty can only be imposed if aggravating circumstances are present:

  • Recidivism 30
  • Offence committed by public official entrusted with combating offences related to narcotic drugs
  • Commission of the crime in association with/using a “minor, mentally deranged person or addict”
  • Association with international criminal group
  • Connection with any other international crime

SYRIA

Sources not available.

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

TAIWAN 31

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Induce or coerce others into using (by means of violence, coercion, deception or other illegal methods)

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Cocaine, heroin, opium, morphine, acetorphine, desomorphine, ketobemidone, etorphine.

No minimum quantities specified.

THAILAND 32

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes: *

Other drug offences:

  • Induce or coerce women or children into using heroin
  • Induce/facilitate the commission of a crime

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Possession is presumed to be for trafficking:

  • Heroin, LSD: 3 g (pure)
  • Methamphetamine/amphetamine: 1,5 g (pure)

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 33

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

  • Intention to commit or conceal any offence punished with death
  • ”Place a narcotic or psychotropic substance in another’s food unknowingly, resulting in their death."

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

List of over 60 substances including, cannabis, coca leaf, fentanyl and opium.

No minimum quantities specified

USA 34

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession:
  • Trafficking: *
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Trafficking:

  • Heroin: 60kg
  • Cocaine: 300 kg
  • LSD: 600 g
  • Methamphetamine: 3 kg
  • Marijuana: 60,000 kg

VIETNAM 35

  • Is it mandatory? NO
  • Production:
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

Production, Trafficking, Storing:

  • Poppy resin, cannabis resin: 5kg
  • Cannabis leaves: 75kg
  • Heroin, cocaine, amphetamine: 100g
  • Other narcotic substances: 300g (in solid from), 750 ml (in liquid form)

YEMEN 36

  • Is it mandatory? YES
  • Production: ✓ T
  • Possession: ✓ T
  • Trafficking:
  • Storing:
  • Aiding/Abetting:
  • Financing drug crimes:
  • Involving minors in drug crimes:

Other drug offences:

  • Divert Legally possessed substance
  • Operate, prepare, equip premises for the consumption of narcotics
  • Offer narcotics for consumption free of charge or facilitate their consumption

Minimum quantities activating the death penalty

List of over 80 substances including cannabis, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine.

No minimum quantities specified

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