Poland Shutters Synthetic Drug Shops

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #652)
Politics & Advocacy

The Polish government announced Monday that it has shut down around a thousand stores that sold newly-emerging synthetic drugs, such as mephedrone and preparations containing synthetic cannabinoids (marketed under names like Spice and K2 in the US). It is also moving to amend its drug laws to cover such substances.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]"The state will not flinch when it comes to using all legal means available in the struggle against these substances," Justice Minister Krzysztof Kwiatkowski told reporters Monday. "This is going to be a long and difficult fight because our opponent is extremely well-prepared, rich and determined," said Kwiatkowski.

The synthetic drugs have made headlines in Poland in recent weeks, with several users being hospitalized. There have also been a handful of deaths that have been attributed to the synthetics, though the actual connection between use of the substances and the deaths remains unclear.

In an operation beginning last week, police and health inspectors sealed the doors of stores selling the drugs. But that was just the beginning, Kwiatkowski said. He said the government would enact legislation to plug loopholes in the existing drug law, including adding a three-year prison sentence for anyone who supplies minors with a substance posing a risk to their health or life. Another proposed amendment would allow health inspectors to pull from the shelves for up to 18 months any substance suspected of being harmful.

It won't be without a fight. The owner of a chain of shops selling the new synthetics told the newspaper Polska he planned to sue over the state's closure of his shops.

More than a dozen US states and numerous municipalities have banned K2 and Spice, but it remains legal under federal drug laws.

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undrgrndgirl (not verified)

"a three-year prison sentence for anyone who supplies minors with a substance posing a risk to their health or life..."  does this include doctors who prescribe pharmaceutical anti-depressants?

Thu, 10/07/2010 - 9:12pm Permalink
Doug Johnson (not verified)

Well, real ice cream is loaded with fat that can lead to obesity and associated health hazards such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, to list only a few.  Ask anyone with these ailments and I'm certain that they will indicate a real cause for concern.  But I don't know if they even have ice cream parlors in Poland.

Sun, 10/10/2010 - 2:39am Permalink

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