Drug use and possession

Use of drugs is not penalised although possession is. The offender in cases of minor importance can be fined (ordered in daily rates. One daily rate shall not be smaller than 10 PNL (approx. €2.50) and not exceed 2000 PNL (approx. €500) or ordered a limitation or deprivation of liberty (up to one year maximum). During limitation of liberty, the sentenced person is obliged:

1. refraining from changing residence without the court’s consent;
2. conducting work according to the court’s decision (in general – for social and public purposes);
3. providing information on his/her penalty pending.

These sanctions should not be used against drug addicts (chronic or habitual use for other than medical warranted purposes of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or substitute drugs having an addiction-forming or addiction-substaining liability).

Trafficking and drug-related crime

Drug trafficking is penalised by a fine and imprisonment for up to 5 years maximum. When the amount of drugs involved is substantial or the crime was committed in order to profit, the imprisonment cannot be less than 3 years. In case of minor offence, the perpetrator may be fined, subjected to limitation of liberty, or imprisoned up to 1 year maximum.

The law does not make any difference between drug dealer and user-dealer. In general, selling drugs is punished with a fine, limitation of liberty or imprisonment for up to 8 years unless it is consider a minor offense. When a person sells drugs in order to fund his/her addiction may be considered by the Court as a minor offense.

Suspension and substitution of sentences

As a general rule, the treatment, rehabilitation and re-adaptation is voluntary. However, the law foresees exceptions for the rule. For instance, a sentenced addict whose imprisonment was suspended may be send for a forced treatment. The forced treatment cannot exceed two years.

In some cases the Court can choose between punishment or treatment. For instance, if the person suspected of the crime, where the punishment is less than 5 years, takes up the treatment voluntary, the legal proceedings can be suspend until the end of treatment. Also, a person already sentenced to imprisonment may be transferred for a treatment. After the treatment the Court may decide whether to execute the imprisonment or not.


The production, procession, import, export, transit, purchase, possession or store of precursors, for the purpose of illegal production of narcotic or psychotropic drugs, is penalised by a fine and deprivation of liberty up to 5 years.

The production, procession, import, export, transit, purchase, possession or store of precursors, without intent to produce drugs, is penalized by a fine calculated in daily rates, as above for drug use and possession. The fine is also imposed when there is a breach of the obligation to retain and show the precursors permit imposed by the law.

Harm Reduction Programmes

Needle and Syringe Programmes (NSP): 27 operational NSP sites, such as fixed sites, vending machines, pharmacy-based NSP sites and mobile NSPs operating from a vehicle or through outreach workers. Needles and syringes reported to be available for purchase from pharmacies or other outlets.

Opium Substitution Treatment (OST): 22 operational OST programmes, based on methadone and buprenorphine.

Drug consumption rooms: 0


The legal age for buying cigarettes is 18. Poland restricts smoking in all indoor public utility areas. However, designated smoking areas may be established in any of these places, except in certain forms of public transportation. Smoking is allowed in restaurants, summer gardens, pubs and clubs if not marked no smoking zone. There are always tables for smokers and non smokers and this rule is usually complied with. The law provides a fine for smokers who violate the law, but places no responsibility on business owners to prohibit smoking outside of designated smoking areas.


To sell alcohol to under 18 year old peolple is strictly forbidden as it is consumption for them. Drinking alcohol (including beer) is forbidden in parks, the surroundings of night shops and railways stations, in public places except special areas in restaurant summer gardens. The fine for drinking alcohol in a bus is 100 zł and is higher in other public places if you are apprehended. If you are very drunk, violent or disturbing the peace and are arrested by the police you may be fined and arrested.

0,2 m alcoholic content in blood is the permitted upper limit for driving. Driving when under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offence.