A guy was recognized as a distributor for using drugs with friends
Konstantin (name changed) told Legalize Belarus that he was 18 when he was arrested. «At that time, I used psychoactive substances, often smoked spice (a smoking blend containing synthetic substances). I constantly lacked money to buy it. Sometimes I had to pawn things,» the man says.
On the day of Konstantin’s arrest, he met with friends, everything was as usual. They were hanging out at his place, smoking spice. Later, they went out to buy something to eat. «When we were returning, one of my friends turned around and said that four people were following us. We only managed to reach the intersection when vans pulled up next to us. People jumped out and immediately grabbed us, putting handcuffs on. It felt like they were arresting drug lords, even though we were only 17-18 years old. They took us to some warehouse, checked everything, searched us,» Konstantin recounts.
After that, the police also searched Konstantin’s home and found 4 grams of spice. The court handed down a sentence of 10 years of imprisonment under the part 3 of article 328. «But they had no evidence of distribution. The drugs was just in my apartment, and since my friends also used it, I was considered a distributor,» Konstantin shares his memories. «Moreover, I had a statement from a neuropsychiatric dispensary that I was being treated for substance dependence,» the man says.
Due to the reduction of the lower limit of penalties under article 328 and two amnesties, Konstantin was released after 6 years of imprisonment. «I served my sentence in a strict regime colony, but I won’t say that the staff used physical violence against us because we could stand up for ourselves,» the man recounts. «However, my attitude towards psychoactive substances was not affected by imprisonment. Now I smoke cannabis every day, but I no longer live in Belarus. I don’t use spice anymore, not because of prison, they just don’t sell it anymore,» Konstantin adds.
The material was created based on anonymous monitoring.