Former Polish President: I Was Wrong

June 10, 2013

The former president of Poland, Alexander Kwasniewski apologized for supporting the criminalization of drug users in his speech at the opening session of the international harm reduction conference 

There are three magical words very few politicans dare to utter: I was wrong. Mr. Alexander Kwasniewski, the former president of Poland is among them. Last May he published an op ed in the New York Times in which he publicly apologized for signing a bill in 2000 that criminalized people who use drugs. He has realized that the society had to pay a terrible price for criminalization. It has not led to less drug use but filled prisons with young people and created a huge black market. This year he is attending the Harm Reduction 2013 Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he spoke at the opening plenary. The Drugreporter video advocacy team filmed his speech and we posted it uncut: 

Mr. Kwasniewski has joined the Global Drug Policy Commission, a group of globally known political leaders and businessmen who promote alternative drug policies based on human rights and public health principles rather than on the utopia of a drug-free world. He set an example in the region for politicians - we hope many others will follow. 

Posted by Peter Sarosi
Video by István Gábor Takács