Center for Rusmiddelforskning

From Punishment to Help? An Analysis of Contemporary Drug Decriminalization Reforms

Projekter: ProjektForskning

  • Kammersgaard, Tobias (PI)
Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet


Worldwide policy responses to drug use are still largely based on prohibition, criminalization and punishment. However, several governments are beginning to question the effectiveness of this approach and are changing their policies in a new direction. In 2001, Portugal became the first country to decriminalize drugs for personal consumption and in 2018 the Norwegian government appointed a committee to prepare the implementation of a new drug policy, where the Portuguese model would be assessed in order to determine whether a similar model could be implemented in Norway. The overall goal of the committee was to propose a model where “responsibility for society's response to the use and possession of illegal drugs for personal use is transferred from the justice sector to the health service” and the subheading of the report that the committee produced in 2019 was titled “From Punishment to Help”.

This research project will examine the upcoming Norwegian drug policy reform and the Portuguese drug decriminalization reform of 2001. The research project aims explore the extent to which these reforms represent a reorientation in thinking about drugs or whether existing rationalities and practices associated with prohibition remain intact. The project will assess the underlying logics, the methods and the assumptions of the reforms and compare these with each other, as well as with the logics, methods and assumptions associated with drug prohibition. The research project will have a specific focus on how these reforms can inform decisions about the development of drug policy in the countries in the Nordic region.

The project is financed by Nordic Research Council for Criminology (NSfK).
Effektiv start/slut dato01/05/202115/04/2022

ID: 216224631