Cannabis in Poland

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Sticker art in Poznań

Possession of most drugs for recreational use, including cannabis, is illegal in Poland. It was classified as a narcotic in 1951 but it was not until 1999 that possession and use of the drug became a crime. Since 2011, prosecutors have the discretion to drop the charges if the quantity of drugs seized is only a small amount. The medical use of cannabis was legalized in 2017.

History[edit]

Like in most countries, cannabis spread to Poland naturally, several thousand years ago. It has been cultivated for most of the last millennium.[1] Similarly, until the early 20th century it was a legal substance, used in medicine and recreation.[2]

Criminalization[edit]

The Second Polish Republic was one of the signatories to the 1925 International Opium Convention, which entered into force in 1928, which imposed some restrictions on the trade and production of cannabis and related goods.[3] Cannabis was first explicitly mentioned in Polish legislation of 1930, and classified as harmful to health.[4] The People’s Republic of Poland‘s legislation of 1951 classified cannabis as a narcotic, and successive legislation made production and dealing in it illegal, however possession and use were not a crime until 1997.[5] The Polish legislation of 1997 was the first that criminalized possession of narcotics, including cannabis.[6]

Decriminalization[edit]

Since 2011 prosecutors can elect to drop the charges if the amount of drugs seized is of a limited quantity (although no set limit is explicitly stated) and the drugs seized are believed to be for personal consumption only.[7]

On 26 May 2011, Poland introduced legislation that would give prosecutors the option to not prosecute for possession of small quantities of cannabis for personal use, if it is a first offence, or if the person is drug dependent.[8] The legislation raised the maximum possible penalty for dealing a large quantity of drugs from 10 to 12 years in prison, and the penalty for possession of large quantities of drugs would result in up to 10 years in prison (previously up to 8 years).[9]

In the 2010s following a growing movement in support of legalizing cannabis for medical use, Poland has moved towards decriminalizing cannabis, with governments discussing several legislation variants, including one proposed by the Kukiz’15 party, and other forms of support from parties such as Twój Ruch.[10][11][12][13][14] Legalization of cannabis has been publicly supported by Polish politicians such as Janusz Palikot, Ryszard Kalisz and Janusz Korwin Mikke, and public figures (journalists, artists, scientists) such as Piotr Bikont, Andrzej Chyra, Magdalena Cielecka, Agnieszka Holland, Zbigniew Hołdys, Krzysztof Krauze, Mikołaj Lizut, Robert Makłowicz, Tomasz Sikora, Jerzy Pilch and Stanisław Soyka and Jerzy Vetulani.[15][16]

Legalization of Medical cannabis[edit]

Poland legalized the medical use of cannabis in July 2017.[17] The law went into effect in November 2017.[18][19]

Use[edit]

According to 2013 data, 17.3% adults in Poland had used cannabis at least once in their lifetime, and 17.1% of young adults used it at least once in the past year. There were signs that cannabis use is becoming popular.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert Clarke; Mark Merlin (1 September 2013). Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany. University of California Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-520-95457-1.
  2. ^ Iwona Arabas (1990). “Z historii stosowania konopi w Polsce” (PDF). Kwartalnik_Historii_Nauki_i_Techniki (in Polish). 35 (2–3): 329–336.
  3. ^ “The cannabis problem: A note on the problem and the history of international action”. css.unodc.org. UNODC – Bulletin on Narcotics – 1962 Issue 4 – 004. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  4. ^ Bołtryk, Piotr (2014). KRYMINOLOGICZNE I PRAWNE ASPEKTY POSIADANIA NARKOTYKÓW W POLSCE (NA PRZYKŁADZIE POCHODNYCH KONOPI INNYCH NIŻ WŁÓKNISTE) (PDF) (in Polish). UNIWERSYTET W BIAŁYMSTOKU. p. 186.
  5. ^ Bołtryk, Piotr (2014). KRYMINOLOGICZNE I PRAWNE ASPEKTY POSIADANIA NARKOTYKÓW W POLSCE (NA PRZYKŁADZIE POCHODNYCH KONOPI INNYCH NIŻ WŁÓKNISTE) (PDF) (in Polish). UNIWERSYTET W BIAŁYMSTOKU. pp. 188–195.
  6. ^ Bołtryk, Piotr (2014). KRYMINOLOGICZNE I PRAWNE ASPEKTY POSIADANIA NARKOTYKÓW W POLSCE (NA PRZYKŁADZIE POCHODNYCH KONOPI INNYCH NIŻ WŁÓKNISTE) (PDF) (in Polish). UNIWERSYTET W BIAŁYMSTOKU. pp. 196–197.
  7. ^ Kancelaria Sejmu RP. “Internetowy System Aktów Prawnych”. sejm.gov.pl.
  8. ^ “Poland Approves Drug Decriminalization — Sort Of”. stopthedrugwar.org. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  9. ^ Drugs in small quantity and for personal use with no punishment – Poland, Interia.pl, 26 May 2011, archived from the original on 29 May 2011, retrieved 2011-05-29
  10. ^ a b Bołtryk, Piotr (2014). KRYMINOLOGICZNE I PRAWNE ASPEKTY POSIADANIA NARKOTYKÓW W POLSCE (NA PRZYKŁADZIE POCHODNYCH KONOPI INNYCH NIŻ WŁÓKNISTE) (PDF) (in Polish). UNIWERSYTET W BIAŁYMSTOKU. pp. 251–252.
  11. ^ Kośmiński, Paweł (22 June 2015). “Dorocie kazano pogodzić się ze śmiercią dziecka, Mateusz przez dwa lata nie wychodził z domu. Pomogła marihuana”. wyborcza.pl. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  12. ^ “Szef Wolnych Konopi: PiS rozmawia z nami o legalizacji marihuany medycznej”. Onet Wiadomości (in Polish). 2016-01-16. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  13. ^ Polska, Grupa Wirtualna (2016-10-21). “Medyczna marihuana coraz bliżej”. wiadomosci.wp.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 2016-12-02.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ “Ruszyła zbiórka podpisów za legalizacją medycznej marihuany”. PolskieRadio.pl. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  15. ^ Bołtryk, Piotr (2014). KRYMINOLOGICZNE I PRAWNE ASPEKTY POSIADANIA NARKOTYKÓW W POLSCE (NA PRZYKŁADZIE POCHODNYCH KONOPI INNYCH NIŻ WŁÓKNISTE) (PDF) (in Polish). UNIWERSYTET W BIAŁYMSTOKU. p. 259.
  16. ^ Bołtryk, Piotr (2014). KRYMINOLOGICZNE I PRAWNE ASPEKTY POSIADANIA NARKOTYKÓW W POLSCE (NA PRZYKŁADZIE POCHODNYCH KONOPI INNYCH NIŻ WŁÓKNISTE) (PDF) (in Polish). UNIWERSYTET W BIAŁYMSTOKU. p. 267.
  17. ^ Hiltz, Jon (21 July 2017). “Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuana”. marijuana.com. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  18. ^ Drury, Adam (6 November 2017). “Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuana”. High Times. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  19. ^ Rough, LIsa (2 November 2017). “Poland Legalizes Medical Cannabis”. Leafly. Retrieved 20 November 2017.