|MP Janusz Palikot, the leader of a new left-wing party in Poland, launched a drive on Friday to legalize marijuana in the Eastern European country|
The leader of an up-and-coming new left-wing political party in Poland threatened to light up a joint in Parliament on Friday — but ended up just burning what he said was cannabis-scented incense after being reported to prosecutors.
The prosecutors have opened an investigation into whether MP Janusz Palikot broke a Polish law against “promoting or advertising” drugs with his threat to smoke cannabis in Parliament, according to news agency PAP. That’s a crime that could carry a prison sentence of up to a year, reports Vanessa Gera of the Associated Press.
“We’re trying to get into Room 143 to burn some grass, in accordance with our announcement,” Palikot told reporters in a news conference held in his Parliament office.
|Polish Speaker Ewa Kopacz was angered by Palikot’s plans to smoke a joint in Parliament, and reported him to prosecutors|
But he was stymied by the speaker, Ewa Kopacz, who was angered by Palikot’s plan and vowed not to let him break the law in Parliament.
She reported him to prosecutors, sand in the end, Palikot just lit some incense containing a tiny amount of cannabis. It emitted the smell of burning marijuana, but Palikot said the sticks of incense were legally purchased in a shop.
“This is the weed,” Palikot told reporters in his office in the lower house of Parliament, lighting up a large incense stick containing what he said was a “legal quantity of marijuana,” reports AFP.
Palikot said his party had submitted a bill to legalize cannabis. Earlier, the philosophy graduate had caused a stir when he announced he would fire up a joint in Parliament.
Palikot is campaigning to get marijuana legalized and otherwise liberalize the conservative Eastern European nation. He is introducing a draft law that would legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Poland recently relaxed its cannabis laws, giving police discretion on whether to arrest users for small amounts.
But the legalization proposal is seen as having little chance of passing.
The country’s first-ever openly gay and transsexual lawmakers entered Parliament this fall on the Palikot’s Movement ticket. Palikot’s candidates won 10 percent of the votes in October’s elections, becoming the third largest party in Parliament but still lacking the votes needed to actually change laws.
Palikot’s Movement has vowed to support gay rights and to fight to loosen the country’s restrictive abortion laws. It also opposes the overwhelming influence of the Catholic Church in Polish politics and society, and has called for the removal of a Christian cross hanging in the Parliament building.