This report contains the findings of economic research estimating the financial costs of the penalization of drug possession for personal use in Poland. The research and the report presenting its outcomes (published in December 2009) were done by the Institute for Public Affairs in Poland. The results are very interesting and in times of economic crisis are becoming a powerful tool in the drug policy debate.

The main results of the study indicate that the enforcement of Art. 62 of Drug Use Prevention Act (which provides that the possession of narcotics or psychotropic substances is punishable by incarceration for up to three years) costs the national budget at least PLN 80 million a year (which equals almost 20 mln EUR or 28.6 EUR per year). At the same time, law enforcement professionals do not believe that the implementation of Art. 62 is contributing to any significant reduction of the drug problem, for instance to curtailing drug dealing or to discouraging users.

See attached the summary of the report and click here to see the paper written on the basis of the findings. IPA is willing to share their methodology, so we encourage you to consider conducting a similar research in your countries or - internationally - in your regions. For further details please feel free to contact Ewelina Kuzmicz, coordinator of the research at IPA: ewelina.kuzmicz@isp.org.pl