Drugs are harmful, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t make you feel good. Because of their harmful nature, most of the countries in the world have banned them. Despite being a potential threat to your wallet and your health, it delivers what it promises, a phase of joy and happiness. Now like most things that make us happy are illegal, so are drugs.
Reported this year by an official audit of the UK government’s expenditure on the criminal war on drugs found that a sum of £1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) was being wasted each year on fighting the drugs crime in the country. The audit also discovered that it was not possible to tell whether catching and locking up people for drugs offenses was even the way to be. In fact, record numbers of people are dying from drugs in the UK. Maybe the UK might be better off having a look across the North Sea, where Norway has just become the first Scandinavian country to decriminalize the use of drugs.
The reason behind this is that they can concentrate on treating addiction and helping people to get clean, instead of punishing addicts which looks pretty reasonable. The Netherlands and Portugal have similar laws too, as do the US states, of Colorado and California. The reason behind this colossal step was made after a majority vote in the Storning (Norway’s parliament) backed by many of the country’s significant political parties. Sveinung Stensland, the deputy chairman of the Storting Health Committee, told The Independent, “It is important to highlight that we do not legalize cannabis and other drugs, but we decriminalize.”
“It will be some time before the change is completely incorporated but till that time those who have a substance abuse problem should be cured as sick, and not as criminals with classical authorisations such as imprisonment and fines.” The changes had been on the cards for a while now, and last year they also rolled out a scheme that sentences addicts to treatment programmes rather than prison time.
At the time, Norway’s Justice Minister, Anders Anundsen, said, “The aim is that to help more addicts to rid themselves of their drug habit and even fewer will return to crime. But if the terms of the programme are broken, the convicts must serve an ordinary prison term.”
The new laws are intended to make sure that the problem of drug addiction is dealt with in the health system rather than in the prison system, where there might be little help on offer to get clean.
Nicolas Wilkinson, a health spokesperson for the Socialist Left party, said: “The majority will stop punishing people who struggle, but instead give them help and treatment.” Seems like a sensible idea – meaning it’ll no doubt never catch on.