Minister of Health Kristján Þór Júlíusson has formed a committee whose task it is to find ways to help drug addicts, socially and medically, rather than taking a more punitive approach.
Vísir reports that the committee is based on a parliamentary proposal submitted by Pirate Party MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir. The committee will focus on ways to “provide assistance [to addicts], protect them and protect their rights”.
District court attorney Borgar Þór Einarsson will chair the committee, alongside Pirate Party MP Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Reykjavík Bryndís Björk Ásgeirsdóttir. All three were appointed by the minister, with representatives from the medical, law enforcement and social services communities comprising an additional six seats.
“I have specific expectations that this work will give the government proposals on this subject,” Kristján Þór said. “That can give us the hope of better results when it comes to reducing the damage of drug use.”
The minister has already shown a willingness to consider new strategies about controlled substances. Last January, he told a group of young conservatives that “I am very supportive of the opinion that we ought to try to decriminalise [drug] use … That’s what I’m offering. I am convinced that we need to try other remedies.”