Friday, 7 May 2010

Poland to Allow Personal Use of All Drugs

The dichotomy between Europe and Australia regarding drug policy is becoming greater all the time. Even our Zero Tolerance masters, the good old US of A is doing the unimaginable by decriminalising cannabis use, introducing medical marijuana and even proposing the legalisation of recreational cannabis use.

More and more countries are taking notice of the carnage caused by the "War on Drugs" and deciding to do something about it. And it’s not what most politicians expect by cracking down even further on drug users but implementing new strategies based on research, evidence and expert opinion. 

Most people don't realise that ex PM, Bob Hawke is responsible for introducing our most successful drug policy to date - Harm Minimisation. Compare that to the last 2 previous PMs who back Zero Tolerance via the "Tough on Drugs" policy? The world moves forward ... Australia moves backwards.

Will our government ever give in to evidence and facts or keep pushing the most useless and failed drug policy in Australia’s history ... "Tough on Drugs”?

Poland Set To Liberalise Drug Law
May 2010

The Ministry of Justice has prepared a draft amendment to Poland’s drug laws, allowing prosecutors to drop charges if someone is caught in possession of substances for personal use only.

According to the Rzeczpospolita daily, which claims to have seen the draft bill, prosecutors will be able to terminate criminal proceedings against someone with a small amount of drugs for personal use.

Charges can be dropped if it can be proved that no financial transaction was to occur, although this is conditional on where the arrest takes place, for instance at a school or other places where young people congregate.

Rzeczpospolita says that the term "small amount of drugs" is not defined in the draft legislation, however.

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Tatyanna (and Dorian too) said...

SIGH ... as a citizen of the good ol U.S. of A. I am right there with you in this frustration. I am glad that Europeans are gaining understanding and more merciful policies but disheartened by this country's inability to create real change on these issues. Yes, there's the matter where a couple of states now have medical marijuana available, and there's talk of recreational use being made legal (we'll see about that!) ... but still a long way to go in my humble opinion...

rougevert said...

So, any idea why they've designed it in this way? I mean, why not legalise it rather than "allowing prosecutors to drop charges"?

Is it so their laws are still in accord with that UN convention/treaty?

Or, which is pretty much the same as above, to keep sweet with Uncle Sam?

Of course, while this move is obviously welcome, thre is still that logical gap: How can it be legal to posess/use the drugs, but not to grow/supply them? Surely someone has to do the growing/supplying? Why are they criminals if the users are not?

Congrats on your award, Terry. Well deserved.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks for your comments.

Tatyanna - Yep, it's strange how the US is moving so fast with cannabis laws but harm minimisation issues like needle exchanges, methadone etc are still considered radical. I think you're right - sadly, there's a long, long way to go for the US.

Rougevert - You are most likely correct about the keeping in line with the UN's Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The Dutch do a similar thing with cannabis and as you point out, there is a huge discrepancy about supplying the drugs.

Australia also do the same with MSIC and The Netherlands have prescription heroin which are both classified as being a "scientific trial".

Switzerland told the UN to get stuffed and had a referendum for prescription heroin. Unlike Australia, Switzerland doesn't have anything the UN/INCB can threaten them with. Australia of course has the Tasmanian poppy industry which has been used before to deter us from going ahead with the heroin trials.

I am especially rapt about some Latin America countries finally telling the US to fuck off. US interference has caused so much carnage over the years in Latin America especially concerning the "War on Drugs".

BTW, what do you guys think about the UK elections? Nick Clegg is a big supporter of legalising drugs and wants cannabis sold in cafes like The Netherlands. With all the hoo-ha from the David Nutt sacking and Nick Clegg wanting massive reforms, the UK might be the first major nation to radically change their drug policy? I'm watching with interest!

Anonymous said...

Yes Terry. I hear you on Mr Cleggs previous support/policy.. Apartently David Camereon also has legalisation ideas in his past... But unfortantly, like Australia, i think the UK's biggest detractor from change is the tabloids...

BUT, like America, all this talk of money and deficeit is a hard nut to swallow.. And even a death dumb and blind man can see how legalisation could help that with not only tax revnue, but spending on law enforcement!!

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Anon.

The Liberal Democrats shadow Home Secretary, Chris Huhne once said, "The Government should either listen to its experts or save money by appointing a committee of tabloid newspaper editors instead". Very funny and very true!

The media in many countries have a lot to answer for with their unbelievable attempts at moral panic and the lies they spew out daily. I don't understand why more credible media outlets fail to highlight the crapper ones. It would make great reading!

BTW, you might be interested in my latest article about the UK election.

Drop by again sometime.

Anonymous said...

I hear you. It's so obvious that all this "tough on drugs" and "war on drugs" shit is failing so gravely, yet media, stupid politicians and part of the public are screaming after even harder strategies... Why the hell is it still so popular?

As for europe and my country, there are conservative voices in politics and media, that are demandig harder crack downs on drugs. And they are multiplying. The good thing is, that the part that is for harm minimisation, is still strong.

It's unnerving to hear them spewing their hate though, for fear they might prevail in the future.