Former Polish President and other prominent figures call for drug liberalisation in Poland

14 December 2010

14 December 2010 - Warsaw - Criminalisation of drug possession does not help to decrease illicit drug consumption. Instead, it distracts the attention and energy of the police from the real originators of the problem: mass producers and major and minor drug dealers – write the signatories of the letter of support for liberalizing drug policy in Poland. Among them are former President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski and a world-famous sociologist, Zygmunt Bauman. Signatories also include writers, artists and respected public figures.

Drug policy is a complex field where criminal issues intersect with matters of public health. Thus the law ought to be created rationally – in line with scientific data not stereotypes, with practical experience not mythology. Excessive repression is not conducive to solving social problems as it often escalates them. It preserves public opinion's fears and reinforces harmful prejudices.

Signatories of the open letter urge the government to advance proceedings on amendments to the drug policy bill that has now reached the parliament. If accepted, a prosecutor would be entitled to discontinue legal proceedings against a person suspected of possessing a minor quantity of an illicit substance for personal use provided that the social harm of the deed is insignificant or the punishment would prove futile.