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Poland — on its way to a new drug policy

Posted on January 17, 2005

Excerpted

After analyzing the enormous social and health-related costs of criminalising the personal use of drugs, which resulted from decisions made in 2000, the Ministry of Health has recommended de-criminalization of personal use again. The new laws would change our policy from the costly and counter-productive “zero-tolerance” model, back to a sensible harm-reduction appoarch.

Dr. Marek Balicki, Poland’s Minister of Health stated, “We still have the illusion that if we have criminal punishment for illict drugs possession, then we will solve the drug problem. Making criminals from young people that have tried drugs is without sense. This is not a good road. We should punish dealers, not their victims.”

Dr. Balicki stated that criminialisation of drug possession caused much harm to society and didn’t produce any positive results. This rational analysis by the Department of Health observed that imposing criminal penalties for drug possession hasn’t stopped people from using drugs and hasn’t made drugs any less available.

The new law in Poland also allows for other positive innovations. A change in the “marijuana” drug law makes it easier for farmers to obtain a permit needed to grow industrial Cannabis, hemp. This broadens the possibilities for hemp in different sectors of our food production, manufacturing industries and trade. Farming organically to produce industrial feedstocks for making paper, food, cloth, building materials, plastics, cosmetics and health products, allows for a major economic shift, with enormous potential for increasing Poland’s resource base.

Copyright © 2005, Centre des médias alternatifs du Québec. All rights reserved.