Norway decriminalizes use of drugs

Norway decriminalizes use of drugs
Drug users should no longer be punished, but treated. The majority of the Norwegian parliament has now made a historic transformation of the Norwegian drug policy and will transfer responsibility from justice to health, VG reports.

- The majority wants to stop punishing people who struggle, but instead give them help and treatment, says Nicolas Wilkinson, SV's health spokesman in the Parliament.

- Now we need to build a large support system that will stand ready so that addicts can get help immediately, from detoxification for the heaviest users and social support for youths taken with a small portion, says Wilkinson to VG.

- It is important to emphasize that we do not legalize cannabis and other drugs, but we decriminalize it, says Sveinung Stensland, deputy chairman of the Parliament's Health Committee.

- The change will take some time, but it means a changed vision: Those who have a drug problem should be treated as ill, and not as criminals with classical sanctions such as fines and imprisonment, says Stensland to VG.

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