Poland Country Drug Report 2017

Drug laws and drug law offences

National drug laws

Drug possession and supply in Poland is regulated by the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction of 29 July 2005. The Act generally has a preventative and treatment-oriented character and the stipulated sanctions should not be used against problem drug users. Any drug possession, even possession of a small amount for personal use, is penalised by up to three years’ imprisonment. In minor cases, the offender can be fined or ordered to serve a sentence involving the limitation of liberty or deprivation of liberty for up to one year. Article 62(a), which came into force in 2011, gives the prosecutor and the judge the option to discontinue criminal procedures in the case individuals who are caught in possession of small amounts of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for private use.

The court may, however, decide to compel a sentenced drug user to undergo treatment. The Polish drug law implements the ‘treat rather than punish’ principle. Article 72 allows proceedings to be suspended while an offender is in treatment, and Article 73(a) allows for breaks in a sentence while an individual is in treatment.

Trafficking of drugs is penalised by a fine and imprisonment for between six months and eight years, depending on the gravity of the offence and whether or not the objective was to make a profit. In the case of a minor offence, the perpetrator may be fined, subject to the limitation of liberty or imprisoned for a maximum of one year. In cases where the amount of drugs is substantial, the perpetrator may be imprisoned for up to 12 years.

Legal penalties: the possibility of incarceration for possession of drugs for personal use (minor offence)

NB Year of data 2015.

Reported drug law offences and offenders in Poland

NB Year of data 2015.

In 2010, Poland passed a new law to penalise the supply of any unauthorised psychoactive substance, as enforced by the State Sanitary Inspectorate. This was revised in 2015 to introduce a list in a Regulation of the Ministry of Health of those substances declared to be psychoactive.

Drug law offences

Drug law offence (DLO) data are the foundation for monitoring drug-related crime and are also a measure of law enforcement activity and drug market dynamics; they may be used to inform policies on the implementation of drug laws and to improve strategies.

The majority of drug law offences in Poland that were reported in 2015 were for possession. A large increase in the number of possession offences was recorded between 2009 and 2015. Drug cultivation offences also increased over this period.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.