Revisiting the normalisation thesis in the Polish context over the past 20 years

Greg Los, Maria Płucińska , Artur Malczewski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Background: The framework presented by the Normalisation Thesis (Measham et al., 1998) which argued that drugs have become more socially accepted and accommodated in 1990s Britain, has not yet been applied to Poland.

Results: Using pooled data from population and school surveys, as well as notable policy and social ‘events’ we show some evidence for normalisation of drugs in Poland, or at least as we refer to in this chapter, a slight ‘thaw’ in public and official attitudes. Although the percentage of respondents who admit to drug use, know where to buy drugs, and think that their friends are using drugs is decreasing – running contrary to some assumptions of the normalisation thesis – increasingly more respondents are supportive of ‘cannabis use’ and do not think that smoking cannabis carries significant harm to health. As we will show there have also been some notable policy changes, like legalisation of medicinal cannabis which seem to support the idea of normalisation of drugs, at least partially, in Poland. These changes we argue are especially contrasting to the trajectory that Polish drug policy took in the late 1990s/early 2000s when Poland was officially absorbed into the orbit of states adopting full prohibition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNormalisation re-visited
Subtitle of host publicationDrugs in Europe in the 21st Century
EditorsJames Morgan , Thomas Friis Søgaard, Alfred Uhl
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Revisiting the normalisation thesis in the Polish context over the past 20 years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this