By Morgan Fox
Earlier today, Polish lawmaker and philosopher Janusz Palikot announced that he was going to smoke a joint in Parliament to kick off a campaign to make marijuana possession legal in Poland. Right now, police have the choice of arresting people or simply ticketing them for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Palikot wants all penalties removed, and he is willing to walk the walk.
Don’t you wish we had politicians like this in the United States?
This plan did not sit well with fellow MP and speaker Ewa Kopacz, who immediately informed the prosecutor of Palikot’s plan.
That sounds a little more like what we’re used to over here.
The prosecutor’s reaction was also pretty familiar to those who have experienced the workings of marijuana prohibition. Even though the joint that Palikot ended up lighting was not even marijuana but some sort of cannabis incense, he could be charged simply for talking about smoking real marijuana. Apparently in Poland, it is illegal to advertise or promote the substance, which the prosecutor alleges is what Palikot did today. He could face up to a year in prison for this act of political theater.
This sort of reaction definitely sounds familiar, and it came as no surprise to Palikot:
“I want to condemn the hypocrisy concerning marijuana consumption,” Palikot told reporters. “Someone said they would smoke a joint in parliament and the reaction was tantamount to someone announcing a coup d’etat.”
Poland is one of several European countries that are reviewing their drug laws and taking steps to soften their marijuana policies. Most recently, lawmakers in Copenhagen, Denmark introduced a bill that would allow for possession and sales of marijuana within certain areas of the city
Article originally appeared in the Marijuana Policy Project Blog