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Drug Policy Reform in Poland


antheads 13 | 366
22 Apr 2011 #1
I've noticed this political campaign heat up recently. PO has felt the winds of change and introduced an ammedment to slightly ammend the 62.1 drug clause. This wil allow the prosecutor not to proceed with charges against individuals caught with small amounts of drugs. Whilst older poles like to proclaim marijuana is of the devil whilst drinking themselves to death, its good to see some signs of change and sustained political activism emerge amongst the youth to combat the conservative secton of society. The ammendement has several shortfalls ; the amount of the the drug is undefined and it is up to the the prosecutor's good will wether he abstains from prosecution. This will lead to abuses but it's a small step forward in reforming the most draconian drugs laws in the EU.

Here is some background info and a mini documentary (In Polish)

In the year 2000 Poland amended the criminal legislation on drug possession. As a result, every person possessing even the smallest amount of an illegal substance was liable to prosecution. There were two assumptions behind the amendment: first, it is more difficult to catch the dealers if they can carry small amounts of drugs on them. Second, if you cannot catch the small retail users and dealers, it is impossible to arrest the big fishes: the bosses of drug trafficking gangs.



100 words + URL.
plk123 8 | 4,149
22 Apr 2011 #2
there are severe unintended consequences: tens of thousands of young people sentenced to imprisonment

unintended? don't break the law and you won't have a wrecked family, life, etc. it's rather simple, dont you think?
valpomike 11 | 197
22 Apr 2011 #3
Tax the drugs, and control the use of it, and this could be good for all.

Mike
Harry
22 Apr 2011 #4
Precisely. Pharmaceutical grade cocaine costs about 5zl a gram (or at least it did when I used to teach at a certain drug company) and is pretty much 100% pure. From what I read street coke is 250zl and 50% pure, so 500zl for a gram of 100% pure. I'm sure that if people had the choice of legally buying produce of a known quality, they'd be happy to pay 10% more than the price they currently illegally pay for unknown stuff. That 10% covers the margin for the retailer and means that the government could be making 495zl tax per gram of cocaine sold (instead of criminals making it). That much pays for a whole lot of drug education and treatment!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
22 Apr 2011 #5
It all comes back to the same old chestnut, that of responsibility. Were I to use sth like cocaine or ecstacy then I would do so for experimental purposes. Part of being human is to experience and share your views with others. I took morphine under controlled conditions and I have to say that it was a memorable experience. It didn't drive me doolalley and I felt sth new. However, it was for pain relief and was much needed. Many weakly escape and continue to do so at the cost of their health and the pocket of others. Life is hard for some, yes, but drugs as a means of escape is not the answer. The problem is stated purpose. Just like many could claim insanity after having committed heinous crimes, many could procure heroin under dubious pretense. It is accepted that musicians do drugs to allegedly enhance their music so why deny others their semi-valid reasons? Poland doesn't make it easy for those who are unemployed so they could do likewise with 'druggies'. However, society in a sense tacitly condones it if it makes them accessible. Ah well, at least social workers are kept in a job ;) ;)

Precisely, Flagless. He was looking for positive experiences. Provided we don't harm others, we should be entitled to explore our own inner space and look for that which may give us a lifting exp. Besides, curriculums often suppress the true talent of individuals. Confining them to sequential, humdrum existences helps little. We shouldn't fear the unknown so much. Give people the chance to broaden their horizons and don't curb their inner drives so much.
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
22 Apr 2011 #6
Welcome back seanus, writing prolifically as ever I see. Not been the same here without u
Seanus 15 | 19,706
22 Apr 2011 #7
Thanks, welshboy! I throw in my two cents for what it's worth. I can never seem to come up with new ideas on the drugs debate as it always reverts back to the same trotted out lines. Still, I like to try and defend the corner of the drug user, hard as it can be, in order to show that motivation goes beyond mere escapism. We live in an age of informed consent and many would know, come the age of 18 for sure, what they might be getting themselves in for. If governments are hellbent on preserving life, they are doing an awful job of it in different ways. War kills, drugs may kill.
welshguyinpola 23 | 463
22 Apr 2011 #8
No probs sheepman. Ur the only one on here who is not afraid to stand up and voice an opinion, whether it be concerning Isreal or Smolensk. I respect that you go against the grain and refuse to accept the widely accepted. (I concur with ur opinions on 9.11). Keep up the good work
Seanus 15 | 19,706
22 Apr 2011 #9
I think I need to upgrade my drugs ;) Donald, pass them round ;)

I don't believe govt should be overly protective when it comes to drugs. Let people make choices :)
OP antheads 13 | 366
23 Apr 2011 #10
unintended? don't break the law and you won't have a wrecked family, life, etc. it's rather simple, dont you think?

No life and law are never simple. In many instances the law might not be just or be unjustly applied. Would you say the same about someone (yourself even) who wanted to have a beer when alcohol was illegal in the states?

I don't believe govt should be overly protective when it comes to drugs. Let people make choices :)

Yes that is true but the goverment does a role in protecting the individuals, However when that function is perverted to criminalising a million of poles that use drugs somthing has gone terribly wrong. I watch with amazement when the anti terrorist squad to breaks down, doors, throws in a few flash grenades and run with automatic weapos. just to bust a weed dealer. The anti terrorist units in the polish police (BOA) are used once every two days!

We need to go beyond the war on drugs/legalisation debate. Drugs could be still illegal but the penalties should be civil rather than criminal.

The czech republic is a great example of drug reform. It's still against the law to possess 15 grams or less, but it's tolerated and the police have the power to give you a fine. People can grow up to three plants, again tolerated but with the possiblity of a fine.

Whilst maintaining its paternal protective role, the czech goverment has stopped the war on its own populace and in fact decentralised the profits from the marijuana trade, putting the money into citizens pockets rather than the mafia. In fact a whole industry has sprung up including hemp hand creams, weed seed vodka, hemp clothes etc.
convex 20 | 3,978
23 Apr 2011 #11
The government shouldn't have a role applying morality under the guise of "protecting individuals from themselves". It's a failed policy.
OP antheads 13 | 366
23 Apr 2011 #12
@convex

Whilst i agree, I guess the arguement is that destructive behaviour impacts on other people. For instance if someone takes too much amphetamines and beats up their wife. Or its an economic cost to the goverment, ie the health effects of cigarette smoking add millions to hospital costs. I think goverments have some role to play in educating the population and regulating supply without criminaly penalising the user. Having worked with some of europes legal highs producers, I have seen the negative social effects of a legalised, non regulated, non morality based marketplace.
convex 20 | 3,978
23 Apr 2011 #13
At that point it goes beyond protecting individuals from themselves, those individuals have decided to harm others. That's where the social contract is breeched and the state has a role to protect individuals. The problem is that a small minority of people that do drugs harm others, the vast majority are just doing harm to themselves. Why not redirect services towards enforcing the laws on the books that are meant to protect others? Taxes on cigarettes and the shorter lifespans of non-smokers more than pay for medical costs in social-welfare states (see the smoking thread). It's a question of mentality, some people have an addictive personality. Some people do just fine recreationally using drugs. I think that personal responsibility should be the key, if you can't handle your shit on drugs, and you decide to do them, you should be punished. Seems like an easy system...I take issue with the idea that people are too stupid or irresponsible to take care of themselves.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
23 Apr 2011 #14
the amount of the the drug is undefined and it is up to the the prosecutor's good will wether he abstains from prosecution.

So - in theory - we should see prosecutors offering deals in exchange for not being prosecuted - which should lead them to the dealers.

Quite sensible, I'd say.
OP antheads 13 | 366
23 Apr 2011 #15
Or if he gets a bribe from the family
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
23 Apr 2011 #16
Most prosecutors wouldn't entertain bribes for such trivial things - why risk being caught for it and your career ruined?
OP antheads 13 | 366
23 Apr 2011 #17
Prosecution and jail time for small amounts of illicit drugs should not be dependent on informing to the police.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 Apr 2011 #18
Drugs are a reality and they should always start from that premise. They are an integral part of cultures beyond subculture. I really don't see sb enjoying music on hashish as being any 'worse' than sb sitting on a balcony and admiring the view. Both are in their own thoughts and aren't harming others.
isthatu2 4 | 2,703
24 Apr 2011 #19
The government shouldn't have a role applying morality under the guise of "protecting individuals from themselves". It's a failed policy.

especially when so many governments have historical ties to drug pushing and running themselves.**cough Air America ***cough***Opium wars***cough***
Seanus 15 | 19,706
25 Apr 2011 #20
Absolutely right! Their double standards are quite incredible. The truth is, excessive paracetamol intake can cause irreperable liver damage and many drugs have side effects that the large pharmaceutical companies conveniently ignore. The detrimental impact of such medication goes well beyond that of occasional hash use.
isthatu2 4 | 2,703
25 Apr 2011 #21
Opiate based medicines are expensive yet our governments go round torching afgan poppy fields,putting the farmer out of buisness and into the arms of the talib....wtf?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
25 Apr 2011 #22
Morphine only differs from heroin (diamorphine) in terms of chemical bonding. For all intents and purposes, they are the same. NATO is doing its utmost to perpetuate the war across there. 30,000 more troops and what have they done? It's a farce!

Let Afghans profit from their opium. Give them legit distribution channels to health industries in the West and allow them to have some quality of life. Poles would benefit too :)
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699
26 Apr 2011 #23
introduced an ammedment to slightly ammend the 62.1 drug clause.

prob just to save their own should they get caught..
Tymoteusz 2 | 353
26 Apr 2011 #24
Thought I would weigh in. Drugs, are the most fun you can possibly have. There is a time to experience them, then, put them down an move on with your life and generally be an adult. The problem is that some percentage of people never move past them. The socio-economic costs associated with these people are astronomical. Prohibition doesn't work. Ironically, the greatest supporters of keeping drugs illegal are the drug cartels. Joe Kennedy funneled huge amounts money into DC to keep alcohol illegal. Nothing has changed.

A video worth watching....

youtube.com/watch?v=LayaGk0TMDc
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
26 Apr 2011 #25
Thought I would weigh in. Drugs, are the most fun you can possibly have. There is a time to experience them, then, put them down an move on with your life and generally be an adult.

Maybe the most fun for you but not for everyone. Some people can't stand them. Even some teenagers hate them. Everyone's different.
Tymoteusz 2 | 353
26 Apr 2011 #26
fun for you but not for everyone.

Haters gotta hate... :)

I'm not pro drug use per se. I'm just being honest about myself and drugs. Prohibition is a failure. Besides, drugs are an accelerant for natural selection. Who could be against something that culls the weak from the herd?

Watch the video.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
26 Apr 2011 #27
Prohibition is a failure.

But not as big a failure as no regulation whatsoever. Nothing is perfect in life. You do the cost/benefit analysis and take the lesser evil.
Tymoteusz 2 | 353
26 Apr 2011 #28
regulation

Yes!

You do the cost/benefit analysis and take the lesser evil.

Congratulations! You are now for the legalization of recreational drugs!
OP antheads 13 | 366
26 Apr 2011 #29
legalisation with regulation and education :)


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