From today 1st July 2015, a Polish law comes into effect applying a limit of one per customer on pharmacy sales of drugs containing psychoactive substances.
Before today, the Polish public could order unlimited amounts of medicines containing physchoactive drugs over the counter, at any pharmacy.There are a number of websites in Poland that give instructions on which medicines to buy, and how the public can extract the psychoactive elements from the medicines for recreational purposes.
The government has been attempting to push through the legislation since 2011, however it had been stuck with the committee of health, “Komisja Zdrowia”, before even getting to a first reading.
The law states that until the end of 2016, medicines containing pseudoephedrine, dextromethorphan, or codeine that do not need a prescription, typically used in cough and cold remedies, will still be able to be bought without a quantity limit.
From the 1st January 2017, the ministry of health will specify a list of substances with psychoactive substances suitable for sale, and the maximum levels they can contain. The levels will be determined in what they consider reasonable use for “self-healing”, with higher concentrations needing a prescription.
Breaking of the new rules of sale can result in fines up to 500,000 złoty, (approximately €120,000), and will be policed by regional pharmaceutical inspectors. Mail order points of sale will also be policed.
The new law introduces two additional aspects.
The sale of “dopalacze”, a substitute to narcotic and psychoactive drugs, which previously could be sold anywhere, becomes a controlled substance. In particular it’s stated they can no longer be manufactured in Poland, but there is no limit on their importation.
The law also introduces a more detailed definition of cannabis as “any part of the terrestrial plants, with the exception of the seeds”, and confirms the associated penalties are up to three years imprisonment for possession, and for cultivation, in the range of six months to eight years.