The proposal for a new Norwegian drug policy was tabled by the Drug Reform Committee on Thursday, December 19. The proposal marks a historic step away from punishment as a reaction for use and possession of drugs in Norway. As the title "From punishment to help" indicates, people who use drugs will now be met with offers of help and treatment. Although the use and possession of drugs will still be prohibited, it will no longer be punishable as a criminal offence.
The committee proposes a model where drug users are summoned to a meeting with a municipal counselling service. Although there is a duty to attend, failure to attend will not be punished. The report states: “The duty to attend is intended to clarify that the use of drugs is still illegal, while the meeting itself is intended to provide the basis for people to receive help and follow-up as needed. People will also be informed about potential consequences and risk factors associated with drug use.”
If people are caught with large amounts of drugs, they can be prosecuted for sale or distribution, as is the case today.