By Carey Wedler | The Anti-Media
Oslo, Norway — Norway is the latest country to move toward decriminalizing drugs and promoting addiction treatment 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 started a political process,” he said, still cautioning that “it’s just the starting point.” Despite some headlines’ claims that drugs have already been decriminalized, there is no legislation yet.
Nicolas Wilkinson, the SV (Socialist Left) party’s health spokesman in the Storting, said the majority wants to “stop punishing people who struggle, but instead give them help and treatment,” according to VG, a Norwegian publication. He said the switch in policy will lead to an emphasis on treatment and follow-up programs, though lawmakers made it clear that they do not intend to legalize drugs.
“It is important 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 change will take some time, but that means a changed vision: Those who have a substance abuse problem should be treated as ill, and not as criminals with classical sanctions such as fines and imprisonment.”
Officials in Norway have been considering reforming the country’s prohibition policies for over a decade. . .