REVIEW PAPER
Legal highs – legal aspects and legislative solutions
 
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1
Independent Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland; Department of Public Health, University of Information Technology and Management, Rzeszow, Poland
2
Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Warsaw, Poland
3
Independent Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
4
Department of Health Promotion, Food and Nutrition, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
5
Independent Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland; Centre of Radiobiology and Biological Dosimetry, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Warsaw, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011;18(2):304–309
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
In recent years the attention of society, the media and politicians has focused on the negative phenomenon of the occurrence of an enormous amount of new psychoactive substances flooding the European market. In Poland and in Europe they are known under the name ‘legal highs’ or ‘smart drugs’. In many countries these compounds present a serious social and health problem. The core of the problem is the fact that in the light of the law these substances are legal, while actually they imitate the effect of illegal narcotics. Smart drugs are sold allegedly as ‘products not intended for human consumption’, under the cover of ‘collector’s commodities’, ‘incense sticks’ or ‘bath salts’. Efforts undertaken by many countries, including Poland, are biased towards gaining control over this pathological phenomenon by placing the subsequent substances on the list of prohibited agents. However, the resilient chemical and pharmaceutical industry still remains one step ahead by introducing new derivatives of already banned products, practically identical in action. The presented article is an attempt to bring closer the problem of smart drugs in Poland, from the occurrence of this alarming phenomenon, through the spread of sales in shops all over Poland, to a series of changes in the Polish anti-narcotic law, drastic actions of closing the shops throughout the entire country, and transferring the sale of smart drugs to the internet.
 
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