YEKATERINBURG, March 30 (RAPSI) – Penalties for drug possession should be revised as drug possession without intent to sell or distribute should not be considered a grave offence, RIA Novosti reported on Monday, citing Viktor Ivanov, head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service.

“Selling drugs is a serious crime. However, possession of drugs without intent to sell is not as socially dangerous and shouldn’t be classified as a serious crime or an especially serious crime like it is now, according to statistics. This should be revised,” Ivanov said.

He added that drug possession and sale in terms of penalties stand very close. Under the law, a drug addict who has 2.5 grams of heroin for personal use can be sentenced to the same prison term as a drug lord, Ivanov said. 

The current law is only good for “showcase statistics,” according to Ivanov.

He believes the legislation should be adjusted, primarily through differentiating the level of responsibility for the possession of drugs not intended for sale, for retail sale, for distribution and for organized distribution. These crimes are substantially different from each other, he said.