(ANTIMEDIA) Oslo, Norway — Norway is the newest nation to move toward decriminalizing drugs and advertising addiction remedy rather than punishing addicts.
This week, a majority of members of the Norwegian parliament directed the national government to reform its policies. “The majority in the parliament has asked the government to prepare for reform,” a spokesperson for the Storting, the Norwegian legislature, told Newsweek. “It has began a political approach,” he stated, nonetheless cautioning that “it is just the beginning point.” Despite some headlines’ claims that drugs have currently been decriminalized, there is no legislation but.
Nicolas Wilkinson, the SV (Socialist Left) party’s well being spokesman in the Storting, stated the majority desires to “quit punishing folks who struggle, but alternatively give them assist and remedy,” according to VG, a Norwegian publication. He stated the switch in policy will lead to an emphasis on remedy and stick to-up applications, although lawmakers produced it clear that they do not intend to legalize drugs.
“It is crucial to emphasize that we do not legalize cannabis and other drugs, but we decriminalize,” Sveinung Stensland (H) [Conservative Party], deputy chairman of the Storting Health Committee, told VG.”The transform will take some time, but that suggests a changed vision: Those who have a substance abuse difficulty should really be treated as ill, and not as criminals with classical sanctions such as fines and imprisonment.”
Officials in Norway have been thinking of reforming the country’s prohibition policies for more than a decade. Newsweek summarized:
“In 2006, it began to test a system that would sentence drug customers to remedy applications, rather than jail, in the cities Bergen and Oslo. In early 2016, the nation gave Norwegian courts the solution to do this on a national level.”
“The target is that extra addicts will rid themselves of their drug dependency and fewer will return to crime,” Justice Minister Anders Anundsen stated at the time. “But if the terms of the programme are violated, the convicts will have to serve an ordinary prison term.”
The shift was introduced by the country’s conservative celebration, although some on the appropriate condemned it, arguing drugs should really stay wholly illegal, although reformists believed the transform in policy didn’t go far sufficient.
As Arild Knutsen of the Association for Humane Drug Policy stated last year:
“If Norway was really progressive, they would stick to WHO and UNAIDS suggestions and totally decriminalize drug use, ban forced remedy and quit making use of involuntary urine controls.”
Now, it seems Norway is inching closer toward decriminalization. Portugal opted to decriminalize drugs in 2001, a move that has drawn praise for the lower in drug use that followed.
However, lawmakers hope to free up sources so police can pursue drug traffickers (rather than customers), and other restrictions will stay. VG explained:
“It will nonetheless be a ‘ban on use and possession of drugs.’ However, the two main parties agree to ‘change the authorities’ reactions to persons taken for use and possession of drugs, from punishment to assist, remedy and stick to-up.’”