Norway looks to decriminalise recreational drug use under new proposals.
THE central-righty coalition government has proposed a bill with the objective of decriminalising the possession and use of small quantities of drugs including cannabis, heroin, and cocaine.
Under the new proposal, possession of ‘personal use’ would not be punishable by law but would still be ‘forbidden’ and users would have to seek help for their addiction.
Education Minister Guri Melby told a press conference: “Decades of repression have taught us that punishment doesn’t work. On the contrary, punishment can make things worse.
“Drug addicts need help, not punishment,” she added.
Ministers in favour of the bill argue that prosecuting users can be counter-productive as people with drug issues are less likely to seek help.
They claim it makes it harder for loved ones to detect problems and isolates an already vulnerable group within communities.
Included in the proposal is a guide to what constitutes a ‘small amount’ – such as two grams for cocaine, heroin, or amphetamines, and 10 grams for cannabis.
The legislation will require support from the opposition, with some arguing the measure could encourage drug use.
Some 260 people have died each from a drug overdose in Norway in recent years, according to data from the Norwegian Directorate of Health.
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