Under the legislation, it is an offence to be in possession of a controlled drug with the intention of selling it illegally. Anyone found guilty of this offence is liable to a class C fine on summary conviction in a District Court. If the court decides, he or she could be subject to a fine and a prison term not exceeding 12 months. On conviction on indictment for this offence, the court can decide on an appropriate fine. The court can also impose a life sentence for this offence if it decides it is necessary. However, lesser sentences can also be imposed, either with a fine or alone.

Where the market value of the drugs is €13,000 or more, the person convicted is liable for a minimum sentence of 10 years. This does not apply, however, where the court is satisfied there are exceptional circumstances. Similar penalties apply to someone convicted of importing drugs with a value of €13,000 or more.

Anyone found guilty of supplying or attempting to supply a controlled drug into a prison, children detention school or remand centre can receive a class B fine on summary conviction or a prison term not exceeding 12 months or both. On conviction on indictment, the court can impose an appropriate fine or a maximum prison term of 10 years or both.

Under the Criminal Justice (Psychoactive Substances) Act 2010 it is an offence to sell or supply for human consumption substances which are not specifically proscribed under the Misuse of Drugs Acts, but which have psychoactive effects. Anyone found guilty of such an offence is liable for a class A fine on summary conviction or imprisoned for a term not exceeding 12 months or both. On conviction on indictment they can be fined or imprisoned for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.

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