History of CBD and Cannabis: Poland
Located in Central Europe, Poland features a rich history of human inhabitation that dates back five hundred thousand years. Considered a regional economic power in the region, Poland still struggles to implement meaningful cannabis reform in the wake of rising transshipment, trafficking, and cultivation crime.
Cannabis, CBD, and Poland
In Poland, the possession of most psychoactive drugs is considered illegal. In the fifties, cannabis was formally classified as a narcotic substance. However, it would take another forty years for the substance to become fully criminalized.
In 2011, legislation dropped the provision that required law enforcers to target every possession crime. Now, law enforcers have the discretion to drop a cannabis possession crime as long the quantities seized are very small.
That said, cannabis first arrived in Poland through traveling nomads several thousand years ago. For the last two thousand years, cannabis has been openly cultivated, both for its fibrous qualities and psychoactive properties.
Though there’s no evidence that marijuana was used recreationally or ritualistically when it was first introduced to Poland, there’s solid evidence that cultivators ate hemp for its nutritional benefits. Additionally, both hemp and cannabis were fibrous enough to be used in shipbuilding materials, breathable fabrics, and composite wartime materials.
Cannabis was criminalized in the twentieth century, following a wave of restrictions that hit the Western World after the conclusion of both world wars.
In 1928, Poland became one of the first nations to outright ban cannabis for all purposes. This landmark decision officially claimed that cannabis was harmful to both individual and public health, resulting in its classification as a narcotic.
Legislation did little to effect cannabis culture on the ground level. According to data published in 2013, nearly eighteen percent of Polish adults have used cannabis at least once and the rates for regular use are consistently high. Cannabis continues to be the most popular illicit substances in the country.
Following an international softening in cannabis policy in the early 2000s, Polish officials reacted by implementing decriminalization measures. Now, the government is considering more robust decriminalization measures that would further protect those who possess cannabis against legal repercussions.
Poland and Legalization Efforts
As research showing the medical benefits of cannabis has popularized, growing numbers of Polish residents are in support of cannabis legalization.
It will be interesting to see how the country implements further legalization measures over the next few years. As international pressure to restrict cannabis decreases, it’s likely that Polish officials will become more supportive of cannabis policy reform.