International - Poland
(Prevalence of Cannabis Use) "Cannabis is the most prevalent drug in Poland and Europe. In 2010, 4% of the respondents reported using it in a lifetime (5% in 2009), 1% in the last 12 months (2% in 2009) and 0% in the last 30 days (0% in 2009).
"The last measurement shows a drop in cannabis use. In the 2008 HCLU [Hungarian Civil Liberties Union] survey, 7% of the respondents reported a single contact with cannabis. If we compare the 2008 and 2010 results we observe a fall of 3 percent point.
"Cannabis use was more prevalent in men than women. Experimenting rates stood at 6% for men (7% in 2009) and 2% for women (3% in 2009). The male respondents used cannabis three times as frequently as women. The rates are lower if we consider the recent use (last 12 months): 2% of men and 1% of women (the same results as in 2009). Almost every tenth respondent aged 15-39 admitted to ever using cannabis."Source:"2011 National Report (2010 Data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox Polish Reitox Focal Point, POLAND: New Development, Trends and in-depth information on selected issues," National Bureau for Drug Prevention. Warsaw, Poland, 2011, p. 36.
(Prevalence of Illicit Drug Use) "Under monitoring drug use prevalence in the general population National Bureau for Drug Prevention and Millward Brown SMG/KRC conducted a qualitative study on a representative sample of 1001 Polish population in 2010 (15-75 year old, N = 1001). The study was concerned using psychoactive substances. The study was conducted face to face at respondents’ homes by means of a computer and was based on the Omnibus approach. The results of the study show that the most prevalent drugs in Poland include cannabis (4%), legal highs (3%) and amphetamine (1%). Last year prevalence were: legal highs – 2%, cannabis – 1% and amphetamine – 0,5%."Source:"2011 National Report (2010 Data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox Polish Reitox Focal Point, POLAND: New Development, Trends and in-depth information on selected issues," National Bureau for Drug Prevention. Warsaw, Poland, 2011, pp. 4-5.
(Legal Flexibility Regarding Personal Use Offenses) "The amendment introduces Article 62a which gives the prosecutor and the judge an option to discontinue the criminal procedure towards individuals caught in possession of small amounts of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for private use. Unlike in the Czech Republic it was decided that the insignificant amount of drugs would remain undefined leaving it to prosecutors and judges. This solution was criticised by some law experts and anti-drug law deregulation activists. According to the legislators, the precise definition of the insignificant amount term would be a gargantuan legislative challenge. Moreover, the legislators indicate that defining the limits for small amounts of drugs can be based on internal regulations (especially for prosecutors) as it is the case in a number of European countries. Article 62a also defines grounds for applying the provision which include 1) possession of small amounts of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances 2) for private use, 3) circumstances of the crime10 and 4) the degree of social harm. The regulations also introduce the prosecution option leaving the decision to launch proceedings to prosecutors and judges."Source:"2011 National Report (2010 Data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox Polish Reitox Focal Point, POLAND: New Development, Trends and in-depth information on selected issues," National Bureau for Drug Prevention. Warsaw, Poland, 2011, p. 14.
(Recommendations to Poland Regarding Harm Reduction Policies from UN Special Rapporteur)
"86. The Special Rapporteur urges Poland to consider the following recommendations in the area of harm reduction policies and practices:
" (a) Ensure that needle and syringe programmes, opioid substitution therapy and other harm reduction strategies become widely available throughout the country.
" (b) To establish, without further delay, an opioid substitution programme in the Tri-City region of Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia.
" (c) Amend the National Law on Counteracting Drug Addiction to avoid penalization of the possession of minute quantities of drugs, in order to foster access to substitution therapy for people using drugs.
" (d) Ensure the informed and active participation of people using drugs and other marginalized groups at the national, regional, and local level in the establishment of policies and programmes.
" (e) Include the participation of people living with HIV and those groups most at risk of HIV in HIV/AIDS-related educational projects and campaigns.
" (f) Ensure the enactment and implementation of a comprehensive antidiscrimination and equality law to help ensure the full enjoyment of the right to health, based on equality and non-discrimination within the State."Source:"Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Anand Grover," United Nations Human Rights Council (Geneva, Switzerland: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, May 20 2010), pp. 32.33.