Poland’s Council of Minister is to submit draft bill which would decriminalise possession of recreational drugs for personal use.
Under the proposed law, the attorney general and courts could drop charges citing the crime’s low risk to society. This way the government wants to focus only on pursuing drug producers and dealers, a commendable step forward, claims Bogusława Bukowska, deputy head of the National Bureau for Drug Prevention:
"It is important to separate two distinct situations. It is one thing when an individual possesses a small dose of narcotics for his or her own use and does not sell it or incite drug use,” Bukowska told Polish Radio.
“It is an altogether different case, however, when someone has a larger amount of drugs and distributes it. The legal system needs to differentiate between the two and so the punishment should also vary," she said.
The bill proposes the introduction of track records of repeat offenders, allowing courts to refer drug addicts to treatment centres rather than prison.
According to lawmakers backing the draft bill, the current regulations have failed to bring about expected results, as they did not limit drug use in the country or enable effective prosecution of drug dealers. The legislation also proved to be very costly, with expenditures of punishing convicts sentenced for drug use costing the country an equivalent of up to 20 million euro.
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