From Iceland — Parliament Approves New Drug Policy

Parliament Approves New Drug Policy

Published May 21, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Parliament has approved a proposal submitted by the Pirate Party that would make a number of changes to Iceland’s existing drug policy.

The proposal, taken directly from the Pirate Party’s drug platform, places greater focus on education, treatment and decriminalisation than current drug laws do. In practice, the Ministry of Health will start by assembling a focus group to examine social services for drug users, increase preventative and education measures, and look into the logistics of decriminalising or possibly legalising illicit substances.

As reported, Minister of Health Kristján Þór Júlíusson has already publicly spoken up on the matter, telling a conference of young conservatives last February, “I am very supportive of the opinion that we ought to try to decriminalise [drug] use in this matter.”

Taking questions from the audience, the minister was asked if he believed that even the most basic drug laws need review, to which he replied, “That’s what I’m offering. I am convinced that we need to try other remedies.”

Amongst other attendees was former Supreme Court judge Jón Steinar Gunnlaugsson who, as Grapevine reported, is in favour of decriminalisation at the least, whilst also entertaining the possibility of legalisation.

Shortly thereafter, the Pirates announced they intended to submit a parliamentary proposal on the matter. Pirate captain Birgitta Jónsdóttir told reporters at the time, “We Pirates intend to submit a policy tomorrow on the matter, where we approach the matter holistically. We have to find a holistic policy regarding addiction.”

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