Leaders in Norway signal interest in major drug policy shift | Addiction Professional Magazine Skip to content Skip to navigation

Leaders in Norway signal interest in major drug policy shift

December 22, 2017
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
| Reprints

Political leaders in Norway have taken initial steps toward a major shift in the country's drug policy, with members of parliament indicating they want to move from a justice-focused to a treatment-driven approach.

Newsweek reported this month that members of parliament want to adopt a decriminalization stance as opposed to outright legalization of drugs. They have asked the government to prepare for reform, but as of now no formal legislation has been introduced.

“Those who have a substance abuse problem should be treated as ill, and not as criminals with classical sanctions such as fines and imprisonment,” Sveinung Stensland, deputy chairman of the health committee in the Norwegian legislature, told the Norwegian publication VG.

The country's minister of health earlier this year announced that he favored addiction treatment over punishment, lending weight to the possibility that Norway will follow the lead of Portugal in a broad decriminalization of drug use.