By Alexander Levin / Drugreporter
On February 10 the deputies of the Russian parliament adopted, in the third and final reading, a bill to increase the sentence for “inciting use of drugs” on the Internet to 15 years. Earlier, the deputies adopted a bill on administrative fines of up to 1.5 million rubles ($20,000) for “drug propaganda” on the Internet. The moves follow an order made by President Vladimir Putin, who instructed lawmakers to take additional measures to counter drug trafficking in 2019.
The share of such convicts has continued to grow over the past decade. Moreover, the average sentence for drug-related crimes is also increasing. This creates a huge burden on the country’s budget, leads to overcrowding of places of detention, and deterioration of conditions in them. In addition, this leads to the withdrawal of a large number of able-bodied people from the country’s economy. Finally, and most importantly, people serving sentences for drug trafficking in prisons are most likely to not only not be “reformed and aware of their guilt,” but, on the contrary, are even more stigmatised and more likely to commit a crime later. This raises the question of the need to reform the system of criminal prosecution for crimes related to drug trafficking.