Poland Cannabis Rally Ends In Arrests


Photo: Jacek Turczyk/PAP
Demonstrators at the Free Hemp March in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday


A pro-marijuana rally held in downtown Warsaw, Poland on Saturday ended with police arresting 40 activists on pot charges as well as “other public offenses.”

The rally, organized by the Free Hemp Initiative, was attended by up to 6,000 demonstrators — and that’s a police estimate, so the crowd could have been even larger.
“Forty people were detained during the march, including six minors,” said Deputy Inspector Maciej Karczynski of the Warsaw Police, reports TheNews.pl. Karczynski added that 28 of those detained were arrested for possession of cannabis, while one person was detained for shoplifting.

The activists shouted slogans and waved banners with messages such as “Plant It, Smoke It, Legalize It.”
Saturday’s rally demanded that Polish law be changed to allow for the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis for personal use, permission to grow three marijuana plants at home, as well as amnesty for people who are currently serving prison terms for pot.
The demonstration came just days after President Bronislaw Komorowski signed an amendment to Poland’s anti-narcotics law, saying that people caught for the possession of “small quantities of drugs” for personal use may avoid prosecution.
Some demonstrators reportedly started throwing empty beer bottles and eggs and police during the rally, which included a march through the streets of Warsaw. The incident was quickly defused, however, after rally organizers, calling for a peaceful protest, calmed the crowd down.
Former ruling Civic Platform maverick politician Janusz Palikot was present at the rally, handing out flyers in preparation for this autumn’s election. Palikot’s new political party is pledging to legalize cannabis in Poland.