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HFHR statement on setting borderline values for psychoactive substances

The HFHR reminds the Prosecutor General of a need to determine appropriate borderline values for individual psychoactive substances and hence define the notion of “negligible amounts”.

Under article 62a of the Drug Abuse Prevention Act, the prosecution service and the courts may discontinue criminal proceedings against perpetrators in possession of small amounts of intoxicants or psychoactive drugs for their personal use.

The conditions that must be satisfied so that proceedings in drug possession cases may be discontinued are ambiguous and subject to individual interpretation.

On the other hand, the statement of reasons appended to a draft amendment to the Drug Abuse Prevention Act mentions that law enforcement authorities (in particular, prosecutorial bodies) can use internal guidelines defining borderline values. As the bill’s sponsor noted, this practice is used in many European countries.

“The HFHR would like to note that had the borderline values been developed, the nineteen-year old Rafał from Legionowo may have reacted differently to the approaching police officers. He would have known that he would not be charged for carrying a small amount of marijuana”, reads the published statement.

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