Poland - "Decriminalisation of drug possession has started to be just a fact in all over the world"

Press Releases

Poland - "Decriminalisation of drug possession has started to be just a fact in all over the world"

28 March 2014

Polish Drug Policy Network thanks to cooperation with deputy Mr Ryszard Kalisz

has pleasure to invite you to a press conference in the Polish Sejm

The conference is dedicated to the Polish premiere of report "Quiet Revolution-decriminalization of drug possession in the world" which was issued by a British non-governmental organization – Release.

This report is the first publication describing changes in the global drug policy in recent years - including the process of decriminalization of drug possession and further liberalization of drug laws in all over the world.

Speakers of the conference:

  • Ryszard Kalisz, lawyer, Member of Polish Parliament, former Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration
  • Piotr Kładoczny, doctor of law, lecturer at Warsaw University, member of the Supervisory Board of Polish Drug Policy Network
  • Paweł Siłakowski, drug addiction therapist certified by National Office for Drug Prevention, streetworker
  • Tomasz Lipiński, leader, singer and founder of the rock band TILT, journalist
  • Host of the event: Maja Ruszpel, press spokesperson of Polish Drug Policy Network

You are welcome!

March 31 (Monday)

Time 11:30

Polish Sejm (main entrance), conference room # 101

The direction of global changes is clearly defined: the rational and humane drug laws. What does it mean? First of all, non-punishing approach according to drug users who possessed small amount of drugs for personal use; helping people addicted to drugs by focus on prevention and treatment.

Already more than 25 countries, bearing in mind these guidelines, decided to establish decriminalization or withdraw from the policy of punishment and to implement the treatment and prevention policies. These changes are happening almost before our eyes and progressing from year to year - in Brazil decriminalization was introduced in 2006, in the Czech Republic in 2010, in Estonia in 2002 and in Portugal in 2001, while last year Uruguay and two U.S. states went a step further and therefore legalized the sale, possession and consumption of marijuana.

Unfortunately, in that context Poland represents a very adverse. It is a country with a restrictive drug policy and conservative approach. The Polish drug law is the second most restrictive in Europe, after the drug law in Belarus. The Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction requires immediate change.

In the country, typical and frequently stopped by Poice drug offender is a young man - from 17 to 27 years, usually high school student or a student, possessing from 1 to 3 grams of marijuana. Based on the current legal provisions every 3 minutes a person is detained being suspected of illegal drug possession. Annually this number exceeds 30,000 people!

The last amendment of the Drug Act, which entered into force in 2011 and gave the opportunity for judges and prosecutors to discontinue the criminal proceedings in case of possession of small amounts of illicit substance, was a little step in good direction, it was only a timid step towards rationalization and humanization of the Polish Drug Law. Therefore, further reforms are needed, among them the introduction of the drug amounts reference tables which can define what the small amount of drugs is.

More information:

Agnieszka Sieniawska, Chairwoman, Polish Drug Policy Network: a.sieniawska@o2.pl

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