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Norway Considers Decriminalizing Heroin Smoking

The Norwegian government is considering a proposal to decriminalize the smoking of heroin as a harm reduction move to reduce the rate of overdose. Agence France-Presse reported on March 1, 2013, that:


The move would make smoking heroin an offense on par with injecting it, which is illegal in Norway but tolerated.

Oslo's municipality already operates a site where heroin addicts can inject drugs under safer, more hygienic circumstances than they would have had access to otherwise.

"The number of fatal overdoses is too high and I would say it's shameful for Norway," Health Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told daily Dagsavisen.

"The way addicts consume their drugs is central to the question of overdoses. My view is that we should allow people to smoke heroin since injecting it is more dangerous," he said.

Norway has one of Europe's highest death rates among drug addicts, with 30 percent of 262 fatal overdoses in 2011 coming from heroin, according to the Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research, Sirus.

By comparison, 168 people died on Norwegian roads in the same year.

Read more: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130301/norway-mulls-decrimin...