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CONSIDERING that the production, traffic in and consumption of narcotics, psychotropic substances and other dangerous drugs cause irreparable damage to Honduran society, especially among the youth, whom our citizens know to hold the future destiny of our country in its hands, since youth is the human element most likely to become addicted to the consumption of enervating substances such as those already mentioned;

CONSIDERING that the consumption of such drugs is the result of clandestine activities that are carried out by individuals devoid of finer feelings, without moral scruples and without heed for the ways and means that they use on the fringe of the law to achieve their nefarious purpose;

CONSIDERING that a lack of foresight in combating one of the evils that is causing very great damage to the countries making up the modern world, and the existence of laws and criminal procedures that are not of sufficient scope for preventing the onset of the danger, or for the prosecution and detentions of the alleged offenders and the imposition of exemplary punishment upon those who are the material or intellectual perpetrators of such serious offences, are factors making it impossible to combat under equal conditions these enemies of the human race who, furthermore, make use of the plentiful profits from a disreputable trade in order to cover up their complicity in it and thereby ensure their impunity;

CONSIDERING that it is in the public interest and national advantage to combat, using all legal ways and means available, the proliferation of activities encouraging the production, traffic in and consumption of drugs, such as those mentioned above, which destroy the human personality;

CONSIDERING that one of the prime duties of the State is to protect the health of its citizens and ensure the peace and well-being of the Honduran family, and bearing in mind that under the present circumstances one of the instruments with the most probable efficiency that can be resorted to is the promulgation of a law containing provisions which permit the prevention, prosecution and punishment, with the highest degree of severity, of those who, directly or indirectly, whether nationals or aliens, commit the offences to which the Law refers.



CHAPTER I Objectives

Article 1

The objective of this Law is to create and establish a system for controlling, preventing, combating and punishing the production, trafficking in, possession and illicit consumption of drugs, narcotics and psychotropic substances, and the provisions of it relate to public order and preferential application to other national legal provisions that are relevant.


Article 2

This Law imposes sanctions on illicit activities involving the production, manufacture, marketing, licit use, possession of and illicit trafficking in narcotics, psychotropic substances and dangerous drugs and any other product which may be considered as such by the scientific and technical authorities of the Secretariat for Public Health, the World Health Organization and the international conventions.

Article 3

It is a matter for each legally-qualified judge responsible for criminal matters within his jurisdiction to hear, judge and punish for the offences contained in this Law, and he may call upon any State body for assistance in the discharge of his duties.

Justices of the Peace who hear cases involving the offences under this Law, which shall only apply to places where there is no court of first instance, shall be obliged to send the files to the relevant qualified judge within 15 days of initiation of the proceedings, with details of the seizures and most important statements.

Article 4

The crews of aircraft, ships and boats which legally or illegally enter the airspace or territorial waters of the State of Honduras and which carry narcotics, psychotropic substances and dangerous drugs, either processed or as raw material, without authorization, shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the judge qualified in criminal matters of the place where they land or dock.

CHAPTER III Definitions

Article 5

For the purposes of this Law, unless expressly indicated otherwise, it is understood that:

Amapola adormidera (opium poppy)

shall mean the plant of the species Papaver somniferum L., excepting its seeds; the opium is extracted from its fruit;


shall mean a bush of the genus Erythroxylacene;


shall mean a coca alkaloid;


shall mean any illicit commercial transaction, purchase, sale, delivery, reception, import and export of narcotics and controlled substances;


shall mean the occasional, periodic, habitual or permanent use of controlled substances which contain the danger of dependence;


shall mean activity designed to create a plantation under the terms described in paragraph 26;


dependence shall mean the physiological habituation of the organism which compels the person to consume drugs and which when the administering of them is suspended causes physical and/or corporeal disturbances (withdrawal syndrome);


dependence shall mean the state in which a drug produces a feeling of satisfaction and a mental drive demanding periodic administration and continuation of it on account of the pleasure it produces or to avoid indisposition;


shall mean a person who distributes a controlled substance;

To distribute

shall mean to deliver a controlled substance by other than the legal means;


shall mean the minimum quantity of drug, narcotic or psychotropic substance for immediate personal consumption, as determined by the forensic experts;


shall mean a simple or compound substance of natural or synthetic origin capable of altering the health of human beings and which is used for the preparation of medicaments and diagnostic media. It is a substance or medical preparation with a stimulant, depressant, narcotic or hallucinogenic effect;


drugs shall mean drugs belonging to this group which are characterized by producing hallucinations in those consuming them; although this is not their only property, it is the most marked and dominating effect on the organism of consumers. The following stand out as the hallucinogenic drugs most commonly used: diethyllysergamide (LSD-15), peyote, mescaline and other similar substances;


or stimulant drugs shall mean all those which contain any quantity of barbituric acid or any of its salts; any barbituric acid derivative which has a habit-forming capacity; any drug containing any quantity of amphetamine or any of its optical isomers; any amphetamine salt or any salt of an optical isomer of amphetamine; or diethyllysergamide; these have the potential for abuse, on account of their depressing or stimulating effect on the central nervous system or of a hallucinogenic effect;

Narcotic drugs

shall mean substances which produce drowsiness, muscular relaxation and dulling of the senses; any of the following substances, whether produced

directly or indirectly as extracts from substances of vegetable origin independently by means of chemical synthesis or a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis:

  1. Opium, coca leaf and opiates;

  2. Any compound, product, salt, derivative or preparation of opium, coca leaf or opiates; and

  3. Any substance or any compound, product, salt, derivative or preparation of these which may be chemically identical to any of the substances mentioned in subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this paragraph, except that the words "narcotic drugs" do not include decocainized coca leaf, or coca leaf extracts, if these extracts do not contain cocaine or ecgonine;


or supply shall mean the transfer or supply of a controlled substance between persons without legal justification for the act;


shall mean a narcotic substance which causes loss of sensitivity;


shall mean the process of extracting, preparation, processing, manufacture, composition, refinement, transformation or conversion by which to obtain controlled substances by any direct or indirect method;


dependence or addiction shall mean the physical and/or mental state due to interaction between the human being and the natural or synthetic drug, which is characterized by changes in behaviour and other reactions due to the need and drive to ingest natural or synthetic drugs in a continuous or periodic form with the object of re-experiencing its effects and sometimes to avoid the indisposition produced by deprivation of it;


groups shall mean: diethyllysergamide (LSD-25), peyote, mescaline, psilocybine, psilocine, DMD (dimethyltryptamine), DET (diethyl-tryptamine), MDA (methylene-dioxy-amphetamine), STP (dimethoxymethamphetamine), THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and other similar substances;


or stimulant groups shall mean: coca and its derivatives (cocaine and cocaine hydrochloride), amphetamines, benzedrine, dexedrine and other similar substances;

Opiate groups

shall mean: morphine, heroin, codeine, papaverine and similar substances in which opium plays a part, such as elixir of paregoric and tincture of laudanum;


shall mean all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa, either the American or the Indian variety, whether still growing or not, the seeds and the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and any compound, product, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation made from such a plant, its seeds or its resin;


shall mean any drug or other substance capable of creating addiction or maintaining addiction in similar form to morphine or likely to be converted into a drug possessing the aforesaid capacity for creating or maintaining addiction;

Poppy straw

shall mean all parts of the opium poppy plant, after it has been dried, except for the seeds;


shall mean a plurality of plants, from which dependence-forming drugs may be extracted;


shall mean the illicit holding of controlled substances, raw materials or seeds of plants from which controlled substances may be extracted;


shall mean any solution or mixture in any physical state which contains one or more controlled substances, or one or more controlled substances made up into doses;

Immediate precursor

shall mean the raw material or any other substance that is unprocessed, half-processed, intended for processing or processed which may be used for the preparation of controlled substances;


shall mean the sowing, planting, cultivation, growth, harvesting and gathering of plants, seeds or vegetable matter containing controlled substances;


shall mean a drug which affects the central nervous system producing neurological, mental and/or physiological effects;


shall mean the bio-psycho-social readaptation of the consumer for his reintegration into the normal activity of society;

Controlled substance

shall mean any dangerous substance, pharmaceutical, drug, narcotic and psychotropic substance, either natural or synthetic, controlled by the State; and

Illicit trafficking

shall mean any act directed at or emerging from activities aimed at producing, manufacturing, fraudulently possessing, holding as a deposit or storing, transporting, delivering, supplying, buying, selling, donating, introducing into the country, taking out of the country and/or carrying out, under any heading, transactions with controlled substances, and financing activities in violation of the provisions of this Law or other legislation.

CHAPTER IV Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances

Article 6

For the purposes of this Law, those substances specified in the relevant international conventions, which the Republic of Honduras is party to, or others which it may accede to in the future, as well as those referred to in the Health Code and which appear in the lists contained in the regulations governing the control of narcotics and other dangerous drugs, and those which in the future may be included in it, shall also be considered narcotics, psychotropic substances and dangerous drugs, irrespective of their presentation. Likewise considered as such shall be those drugs, preparations and pharmaceutical specialities contained in the official lists of the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organization, the consumption of which produces dependence, stimulation or depression of the central nervous system, hallucinations, and disturbances of the motor function, faculty of judgement, behaviour, perception or state of mind.

Article 7

The sowing, cultivation, production, collection, harvesting and use of plants of the genera: opium poppy ( Papaver somniferum L.), marijuana ( Cannabis sativa, Indian and American variety), coca bush ( Erythroxylon novogranatense Morris), hallucinogenic plants such as peyote ( Psilocvbine mexicana) and other plants and parts of plants that contain substances considered as narcotics and controlled substances shall be prohibited throughout national territory.

Article 8

The production, manufacture, extraction, synthesis, processing and fractionation of narcotics and controlled substances shall be prohibited with the exceptions established by law.

Article 9

The production, manufacture, refinement, transformation, extraction, preparation or any other operations for treating the substances referred to by this Law shall be subject to the authorization and control of the Secretariat of State for Public Health.

Similarly, laboratories which are designed to manufacture drugs and medicaments producing physical or mental dependence, or both at the same time, shall request the relevant authorization in writing from the Secretariat of State, with due mention of the quantity, content and nature of what their production will be.

Article 10

The Secretariat of State for Public Health may in exceptional cases authorize the National Autonomous University of Honduras to conduct those activities that are in the general sense prohibited in articles 8 and 9 of this Law.

Article 11

Every person is prohibited from keeping in his possession, or in his clothing or baggage, at his house, place of work, in his car or at any other place under his responsibility, without legal authorization, any quantity of narcotic or controlled substances.

Article 12

The purchase, import, export and marketing of narcotics and controlled substances shall be subject to authorization, which may only be granted by the Secretariat of State for Public Health. Medicaments which contain narcotics or controlled substances may be sold to the public only by medical prescription at authorized pharmacies; the prohibition covers free medical samples containing controlled substances, which are subject to registration by the mentioned Secretariat of State for entry into, distribution within or exit from the country.

Article 13

Doctors, dentists and veterinary surgeons may possess up to two ampoules of controlled drugs in their surgical bags.

Article 14

The following chemical, basic and essential substances shall be considered inputs for the manufacture of controlled substances, for which reason the health and customs authorities shall exercise control over their entry into, distribution within, use and exit from the country:

  1. Anthranilic acid and N acetyl anthranilic acid, used to make methaqualone;

  2. Phenyl-2-propanone and phenylacetic acid, used to make amphetamine and methamphetamine;

  3. Piperidine, used to make phencyclidine (PCP);

  4. The alkaloids of rye ergot, ergotamine and ergonovine, used to make diethyllysergamide (LSD);

  5. Acetone, used for the extraction, synthesis and processing of heroin and cocaine;

  6. Ethyl ether, used for the synthesis of heroin and cocaine, acetic anhydride, used to make heroin; and

  7. Acetyl chloride, used to make heroin and other chemical, basic and essential substances for the preparation of drugs.

Article 15

Cases not provided for in this Chapter shall be regulated by the Health Code, Law governing pharmacies and the Regulations for the Control of Narcotics and other Dangerous Drugs.

CHAPTER V Offences, penalties and security measures

Article 16

Any person who illicitly sows, plants, cultivates or harvests narcotic plants or parts of plants of those mentioned in article 7 of this Law shall be imprisoned for 9 to 12 years and shall pay a fine of 5,000-25,000 lempiras.

Article 17

Whoever illicitly manufactures drugs, narcotics or controlled substances that produce addiction shall be punished by 9 to 15 years' imprisonment and shall pay a fine of 50,000-100,000 lempiras.

Article 18

Whoever trafficks in drugs, narcotics or controlled substances shall be punished by 15 to 20 years' imprisonment and pay a fine of 1-5 million lempiras.

Article 19

Whoever finances or perpetrates any other preparatory act leading to the commission of the acts mentioned in articles 16, 17 and 18 above shall be imprisoned for a period of 15 to 20 years and pay a fine of 1-5 million lempiras, according to the gravity of the offence.

Article 20

Whoever induces another person to abuse drugs, narcotics or controlled substances shall be imprisoned for 9 to 12 years and pay a fine of 50,000-100,000 lempiras. If the inducement is based on exploitation of the condition of influence or authority over the victim, or if the latter is a minor or disabled person, or if the offence is committed in an educational, public health, military, police or penal establishment, or in the neighbourhood of such, the term of imprisonment shall be increased by one third to two thirds and the fine shall not be less than 200,000 lempiras.

Article 21

Anyone who instigates or incites another to commit any of the offences listed in this Chapter shall be imprisoned for 9 to 12 years and pay a fine of 50,000-100,000 lempiras.

Article 22

A penalty of 6 to 9 years' imprisonment and a fine of 50,000-100,000 lempiras shall be imposed on anyone who knowingly provides the premises or means of transport, even if free of charge, for the traffic in and illicit consumption of narcotics, psychotropic substances and other dangerous drugs.

Article 23

Any person who wittingly, either himself or through an intermediary, whether a physical or legal person, engages, together with other persons or with a commercial or other type of establishment, in dealings of any type, or provides false information for the opening of accounts or for the conduct of transactions of the same type, with money originating from the activities of illicit traffic in controlled drugs, shall be imprisoned as an accomplice for a period of 3 to 6 years and shall pay a fine of 50,000-100,000 lempiras.

The same penalty shall be imposed upon anyone who after the commission of an offence involving illicit drug trafficking, without having taken part in it, conceals, acquires or receives money, assets or objects originating from the illicit traffic in drugs or participates in any other manner in their acquisition, receipt or concealment.

If the accomplice in the activities relating to money and assets originating from illicit drug trafficking should be the chairman or owner/administrator of a trading company or other organization, whether it has a legal personality or not, in addition to the penalty

imposed upon the natural person mentioned in the first paragraph of this article, the establishment shall be closed down definitively and irrevocably and the trading or social organization shall be punished by a fine of 100,000-500,000 lempiras.

Article 24

Whoever holds in his possession for illicit purposes chemical, basic and essential substances, or inputs for the production of addictive drugs, shall be imprisoned for 3 to 6 years and pay a fine of 20,000-50,000 lempiras.

Article 25

Public officials and employees, members of the Armed Forces, police forces and State security establishments, and persons working for the public authority, by election or appointment, who take direct part in, or who facilitate by abuse of office, the commission of criminal acts envisaged by this Law shall be subject to the corresponding penalty, increased by one third, and to total removal from office.

Article 26

Any person caught in possession of marijuana cigarettes or their equivalent in the form of dry leaf or basic paste or any other addictive drug in a minimal quantity such that, in accordance with a report of the Department of Forensic Medicine, of the Legislature, or of the State-employed doctor, failing the former, it may be considered to be for his immediate personal consumption, shall be subject to the following security measures:

(a) The first time, internment up to 30 days and a fine of 500-1,000 lempiras;

(b) The second time, internment from 30 to 90 days and a fine of 1,000-5,000 lempiras; and

(c) If he is a drug addict, he shall be interned in a rehabilitation centre until he has been socially reintegrated; this measure shall be applied even when it is the first time. The same measure shall be imposed upon persons who, without being drug addicts, relapse for the third time, together with a fine of 5,000-10,000 lempiras.

In cases in which the possession or holding exceeds the minimal quantity considered to be for immediate personal consumption, it shall be understood to be a violation of article 18 of this Law.

Article 27

Aliens who fall under the above article shall be sanctioned by a fine of 5,000-10,000 lempiras and shall be deported.

Article 28

When two or more persons join forces for the commission of the offences established by this Law, they shall be sanctioned with an additional third of the basic penalty.

Article 29

Any persons who in the commission of an offence established in this Law or when resisting authority makes use of any type of weapon shall suffer the penalty increased by one third.

Article 30

Subject to seizure shall be real estate or personal property, chemical, basic and essential substances as well as the immediate precursors, equipment, plants, laboratories, weapons, money and assets, vehicles and any other means which has been used to prepare, process, manufacture, store, conserve, traffick in and convey illicit drugs; properties subject to seizure shall be placed at the disposal of the State of Honduras.

Exempt are commercial air, land or sea craft in which drugs are found in luggage that is the exclusive responsibility of the passenger. However, craft carrying cargo, or passengers commissioned to carry cargo shall require a sworn declaration of its contents.

CHAPTER VI Prevention

Article 31

The Secretariat of State for Public Education shall incorporate into its primary, secondary, technical and vocational school programmes contents and activities that aim to prevent drug addiction and provide information on the risks of drug addiction.

Article 32

The communication media of the country shall conduct campaigns to combat the production, traffic in and consumption of drugs, narcotics and psychotropic substances; the contents, duration and frequency of the campaigns shall be determined by joint agreement between the Honduran Institute for the Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism, Drug Addiction and Drug Dependence and the communication media.

Article 33

Any form of publication, publicity, propaganda or programmes via the communication media that contain stimulants and subliminal messages, whether auditory, printed or audio-visual, favouring the production, illicit traffic in and consumption of drugs and controlled substances is prohibited.

Article 34

The Supreme Court of Justice shall put into effect training programmes for judges, the Office of the Public Prosecutor and the police in matters relating to strategies for prevention or intervention aimed at countering the problem of drug dependence.

CHAPTER VII Proceedings

Article 35

Criminal proceedings for the sowing, production, manufacture, traffic in, financing and possession of drugs, narcotics and psychotropic substances, as well as for the inducement, instigation, provision of premises and means of transport, and complicity in concealment of the origin of money coming from drug trafficking operations in order to legitimize its subsequent use, shall be those indicated by the Penal Code for offences which give grounds for public action.

CHAPTER VIII General provisions

Article 36

Real estate and personal property used for illicit trafficking in drugs and those acquired with funds from such trafficking, once these points have been proved in the course of criminal proceedings, shall be publicly auctioned by the State of Honduras. The product of the auction and the money confiscated, including bank accounts, securities, other funds and the fines shall be paid into the General Treasury of the Republic and used for prevention, education and health programmes and for the establishment of rehabilitation centres.

Article 37

Extradition for drug trafficking offences shall be subject to the provisions of Article 10 of the Penal Code and the extradition treaties signed by the State of Honduras.

Article 38

Crops consisting of plants from which addictive drugs can be extracted as well as drugs seized when this Law is violated shall be destroyed in the presence of the competent judge, a ministry inspector, and representatives of the Department for Drug Control, the Secretariat of State for Public Health, the Public Security Police, the Honduran Institute for the Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism, Drug Addiction and Drug Dependence, and the press and public at large. Their destruction shall be carried out under the jurisdiction of the court or tribunal which heard the case; prior to destruction the quantity, quality and grade of purity of them shall be analysed and tested; a document shall be drawn up and signed by the representatives of the institutions mentioned, with the signatures being endorsed by the Secretary for Competent Court Proceedings, and each of the former receiving a copy of the document.

Article 39

The Honduran Institute for the Prevention and Treatment of Alcoholism, Drug Addiction and Drug Dependence is the body in charge of drawing up governmental programmes and coordinating all the activities and programmes of the private sector for the study, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of the physical and mental dependence of consumers of drugs and controlled substances.

Article 40

The rehabilitation of the convicted party shall be subject to the provisions of the Law governing the Rehabilitation of Offenders.

Article 41

The penal, civil, and administrative liability devolving from infractions of this Law are prescribed in the following manner:

(a) For offences permitting bail in conformity with the Code of Criminal Procedure, 15 years after committing the offence; and

(b) For offences for which there is no bail in conformity with the Code of Criminal Procedure, 20 years after the offence has been committed.

CHAPTER IX Transitional provisions

Article 42

The Executive shall issue the regulations governing this Law within 90 days.

CHAPTER X Final provisions

Article 43

This Law repeals Decree Law No. 613 of 17 March 1978, and its amendment as contained in Decree No. 1048 of 15 July 1980, and any other laws and provisions that run counter to them and in all pertinent matters shall be applicable to the Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure in Force.

Article 44

The Law shall enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Gazette

Done in the City of Tegucigalpa, Municipality of the Central District, in the meeting hall of the National Congress, on the fifth day of September, nineteen hundred and eighty-nine.

( Signed) Carlos Orbin Montoya,


Oscar Armando Melara Murillo,


Luis Antonio Ortez Turcios,


To the Executive for Implementation

Tegucigalpa, D.C., 8 September 1989

José Simon Azcona Hoyo,


Secretary of State for Internal

Affairs and Justice

Enrique Ortez Colindres,