Cannabis in Norway
Cannabis in Norway is illegal for all purposes except medical purposes, for which it has been available through special approval since November 2016.
In December 2017, the Norwegian Parliament’s sub-committee on health announced their intention to decriminalize personal drug use, providing medical treatment to users rather than fines and imprisonment. In March 2018, the government created a working group to prepare the reform in drug policy. The group will provide its recommendation to the government by December 31, 2019. In the group’s given mandate, the police is handed the responsibility to “impose health related measures on drug addicts.” Not complying with measures imposed by police “will lead to sanctions.”
Norway has traditionally been one of the strictest countries in Europe in regards to cannabis, but this is changing, mainly due to the work of reform groups such as the Association for Humane Drug Policies and the Norwegian NORML as well as influence from international human rights organizations.
Up to 15 grams is considered an amount for personal use, and is punished with a fine in the case of first-time offenders; possessing more is punished more harshly. Repeat offenders or dealers can face prison charges. The type of fine given for drug offences are of the more serious category, and will appear on a criminal record. Young first-time offenders are routinely compelled to consent to regular supervised drug testing to avoid prosecution. Up to one kilo is punished with up to 2 years in prison. If the amount is larger, the limit is 10 years. Amounts over 80 kilos are punished with sentences of 3 to 15 years, and in very serious cases up to 21 years is permitted.
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