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Towards a paradigm shift in Norwegian drug policy

The winds of change
Regissør: Kieran Kolle

DRUG REFORM: Perhaps it is the opponents of the government's drug reform who should watch the documentary The winds of change, which follows three activists from the Association for Human Drug Policy.

The winds of change is an appropriate title for Kieran Kolle's documentary on Norwegian drug policy, as major changes are about to take place in this area.

The film is about Arild Knutsen, Michelle Alexandra Muren and Kim-Jørgen Arnetvedt, all affiliated The Association for Human Drug Policy. Knutsen has led the association since he founded it in 2006, and through this position has been a key participant in the public debate on the country's obvious challenges in the area of ​​intoxicants. Norway has long pursued a strict and conservative drug policy, which in the opponents' view has not been very successful. "In recent years, Norway has had among the highest registered incidences of drug-induced deaths per capita in Europe," it is stated on the Norwegian Directorate of Health's website, and these statistics also refer to the film in an introductory text poster.

Early in the documentary, Knutsen tells about drug addicts who do not call an ambulance when they witness others overdose, as this will mean the police will also come. And there are probably many who are reluctant to seek help for a number of drug-related problems, for the reason that drug use is criminalised and stigmatised.

Proposal for decriminalization

This year, however, the wind may turn in earnest when the Storting is to consider the government's proposal for drug reform. In December 2019, a drug reform committee appointed by the government presented the report «From punishment to help», where it is proposed that drug users should be offered help and treatment rather than being criminalized. . .

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Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.
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