Norway to decriminalize personal drug use in ‘historic’ shift

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Norway to decriminalize personal drug use in ‘historic’ shift

22 February 2021

The Norwegian government has released an official communication on this proposal, which can be accessed here under the name 'Help, not punishment for drug use'.

By Ott Ummelas / Bloomberg

Norway plans to decriminalize the personal use of illegal drugs in small quantities, citing recommendations from the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

The Nordic country will abolish criminal liability “for the use of drugs and the acquisition and possession of a small amount of drugs for own use,” according to legal proposals by the health-care ministry to lawmakers, published on Friday. The acts will be illegal, but not punishable.

“The drug reform is a historic shift in Norwegian drug policy,” Health Minister Bent Hoie said in an emailed statement. “It’s high time we replace punishment with help.”