According to the Penal Code of the country of Panama, when two or more people gather or conspire to commit a drug-related crime, they shall be punished with a prison sentence of eight to twelve years.

Anyone who introduces drugs into the national territory, even in transit, or takes them out or attempts to take them out in international traffic or transit, destined for another country, shall be punished with imprisonment for ten to fifteen years. If the agent introduces the drug into the national territory for local sale or distribution, the penalty shall be increased by one-third to half. The penalty shall be two to four years of imprisonment or its equivalent in fine days or therapeutic measures when, due to its small quantity and other circumstances, it is unequivocally determined that the drug is for personal consumption.

Anyone who performs any of the behaviors described in this article shall be punished with a prison sentence of ten to fifteen years if they:

  • Plant, cultivate, store, or guard seeds or plants that can produce illicit drugs or their derivatives for commercialization.
  • Extract, transform, or manufacture illicit drugs.
  • Preserve or finance a plantation intended to produce illicit drugs.
  • Possess, manufacture, or transport precursors, chemicals, machinery, or equipment intended for the production and transformation of illicit drugs. If the behavior is carried out by a medical professional, pharmacist, laboratory technician, chemist, agronomist, or a professional related to any of the aforementioned, the penalty shall be aggravated by one-third to half.

Anyone who hides, falsifies, alters, or destroys documentation or reports, changes the labels of controlled chemical substances, or provides false information with the intention of diverting precursors and controlled chemical substances for use in the manufacturing, transformation, or production of illicit drugs shall be punished with a prison sentence of six to ten years.

Anyone who, without authorization, possesses, produces, manufactures, prepares, industrializes, distributes, transforms, extracts, dilutes, stores, markets, transports, transships, imports, or exports chemical substances and precursors to use them for the production or transformation of illicit drugs shall be punished with a prison sentence of ten to fifteen years. The same penalty shall apply to anyone who, without authorization, engages in customs transit, discards, packages, or any type of transaction involving chemical substances and precursors for use in the production or transformation of illicit drugs.

A public servant who uses for their own benefit or discloses to an unauthorized third party confidential information related to chemical substances or precursors received or obtained in the exercise of their functions shall be punished with imprisonment for six to eight years.

A public servant who, during an investigation or criminal process for a drug-related crime, engages in any of the following behaviors, shall be punished with imprisonment for five to ten years and disqualification from holding public office for up to ten years:

  • Hides, alters, removes, or destroys evidence or proofs.
  • Facilitates the escape of the apprehended, detained, or sentenced person.
  • Receives money or other benefits to favor or harm any of the parties in the process.

Anyone who, for illicit commercialization purposes, buys, sells, acquires, exchanges, stores, or transfers drugs, under any title, shall be punished with imprisonment for ten to fifteen years. The penalty provided in the previous paragraph shall be doubled in the following cases:

  • When a minor or a person with a disability or altered mental state is used.
  • When carried out in an educational, sports, cultural, prison, or public entertainment venue or in places adjacent to the aforementioned.
  • When performed by a person acting as an educator, teacher, or employee of a public or private educational establishment.
  • When intimidation, violence, or a weapon is used.
  • When done using one’s condition as a public servant.

Anyone who knowingly dedicates a movable or immovable property to the production, storage, transformation, distribution, sale, use, or transport of drugs shall be punished with imprisonment for eight to twelve years. When the owner or manager of a commercial establishment open to the public uses it for one of the purposes mentioned in this article, a prison sentence of ten to fifteen years shall be imposed. If the owner is a legal person, the penalties provided in this Code for such persons shall be imposed.

Anyone found in unlawful possession of drugs, under circumstances objectively indicating that it is not for personal consumption, shall be subject to a sentence of eight to twelve years of imprisonment.

Possession includes physical holding, ownership, or control over the drug.

If the conducts described in Articles 312, 313, and 321 are committed by leaders, directors, or organizers of a national or international criminal gang or organization, the penalty shall range from twenty to twenty-five years of imprisonment.

In determining the minimum and maximum limits of the penalties outlined in the previous articles, the judge must consider, in addition to the rules established in the First Book of this Code, the dangerousness of drugs and their market value, taking into account their potential for physical or psychological harm.

According to criminal law, a drug is defined as any substance that causes physical or psychological dependence, such as narcotics, pharmaceuticals, narcotics, and all those products, precursors, and essential chemical substances used for their production, transformation, or preparation, in accordance with the legal provisions on health, international agreements, and treaties applicable in the Republic of Panama.

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