Norway Government Wants to Decriminalize Heroin Smoking

The Norwegian government said Friday it wants to decriminalize the smoking of heroin as a harm reduction measure, Agence-France Presse reported. Smoking heroin is less dangerous than injecting it, and the move could reduce the number of overdoses, officials said.

heroin smoking image from 1965 UNODC newsletter
"The number of fatal overdoses is too high and I would say it's shameful for Norway," said Health Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere. "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.

According to the Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIRUS), heroin overdoses accounted for 30% of 262 fatal overdoses in 2011. By comparison, only 168 people died in traffic accidents that year.

The city of Oslo has opened a supervised injection site in a bid to reduce overdoses, but decriminalizing heroin smoking would also help, said Stoere. Users currently can't smoke at the supervised injection site.

"This isn't about some kind of legalization of heroin but about being realistic," he said. "Those who are in the unfortunate situation of injecting themselves in a drug room should be able to inhale. It is less dangerous, you consume less and the risk of contracting a disease is lower," he added.

"It's a paradox that you can't smoke heroin when you can inject it, since the first method is less dangerous than the second," SIRUS researcher Astrid Skretting told AFP. "But the culture of injecting which provides a more immediate effect than smoking seems deeply rooted in Norway and it's not certain that a decriminalization will lead to a radical change in behavior," she suggested.

The Norwegian government is set to unveil its latest plan for fighting drug addiction next week. Stoere said the heroin smoking decrim plan has the backing of the center-left government.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Smoking Heroin

Smoking heroin will get you tore-up . Watch Steven Adler in that episode of Celebrity Rehab .

Legalize Herbs

They're starting to get closer to it. 

The truth is we have to legalize the herbs themselves and all the things you can do with them. Smoking heroin is safer but smoking opium is even safer. And what is wrong with using active herbs in their natural form? Nothing! If cannabis, opium and cocaine were all totally legal we could grow or purchase them in their natural form. Coca leaf tea is much safer than using it any other way and has many different medicinal uses. What is banned is the natural pharmacopoeia and our right to produce rural products for the profit and benefit of the rural community. Instead we are stuck with a fascist system where only corporate giants control massive industrial process's without any competition from the rural originals. Legalize nature. Legalize herbs. Legalize the farm. 
Gart's picture

Who's paying the lion's share of the costs of Prohibition?


As a European citizen who looks in horror at the heinous consequences Prohibition and the so-called War on Drugs policies have had on drug producing and transit countries, in particular Latin American ones, I cannot help but feel ashamed by the total lack of support shown so far by European countries for the call made by sitting Latin American presidents to engage in an open debate to find alternatives to current drugs policies.

Why have we not heard a single word of encouragement, let alone support, from European countries that have "quasi legalised" their demand for, as well as their domestic supply of, drugs?

How can we explain the silence of countries such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, among many others, which have de jure or de facto depenalised or decriminalised the personal consumption of some drugs?

Or the silence of countries that allow users to grow a number of marijuana plants in their homes and for their own consumption, or tolerate the operation of so called “cannabis social clubs”, or authorise the cultivation of marijuana to supply dispensaries where consumption on medical grounds is allowed?

I do not have any doubts that harm reduction programmes, decriminalisation or depenalisation of the demand for drugs are sensible and necessary policies. But if we were serious about tackling the so-called drug problem, we should be accompanying those policies regarding the demand with equally sensible policies towards the supply of drugs coming from Latin America—or from any other part of the world for that matter.

It is disgraceful, almost criminal, to see that while Latin America is trying to promote the discussion of current and alternative drug policies, we behave in the most cowardly fashion: we remain in silence!

Our mutism is totally inexcusable, for in the final analysis the onus is on us, drug consuming countries in the developed world. We should be the ones promoting the Legalisation & Regulation of the supply. We should be the ones making all the noises calling for a change in the national and international legislation on drugs. We should be the ones spearheading the movement seeking the end of Prohibition and the War on Drugs, and the regulation of the production and distribution of all drugs.

Gart Valenc
Twitter: @gartvalenc

god i really really really

god i really really really really need to get the hell out of the USA



Legalizing Heroin Smokes....

Just make sure the schoolkids sneaking good healthy H smokes in the bathrooms don't accidentally get hold of any tobacco cigarettes by mistake!

 - MJM 

P.S.  Was this article meant for April 1st instead of March 1st?

Seriously-meant smokes-avoidance suggestions for MJM

1.  Tobacco $igarettes kill 6,000,000 human beings a year.  Not one fatality ever reported since invention (2003) from vaped-tobacco "E-CIGARETTES".

2.  The proposals cited in the article go partway to Harm Reduction.  Next, instead of "smoked opium", substitute VAPORIZED OPIUM, or coca leaf,  tobacco, cannabis etc.  "Smoked" means heat shock, carbon monoxide, nitrites, PAH's and hundreds of other COMBUSTION TOXINS which can produce health and character damage blamed on the cannabis or whichever herb.  Oslo needs a chain of VAPE SHOPS where everyone can try out vaporizers, one-hitters, herbs, etc. and reach a good decision what to buy or make.

3.  Please go to cessation/ (subsection) "Alternative Herbs", sign in with a username, review the list of herbs that can be vapetoked in a one-hitter, add others that are relevant, add toke-procedural suggestions about particular herbs you think are important etc.

4.  Go to"How to Make S---- Pipes from Everyday Objects" (old title, we'll write a new article about Vapetoke etc.),, and companion article "How to Make a 1/4"-diam. Screen for a Single Toke Utensil", review, revise, improve how-to articles, add better pictures etc.

Opium, coca

Smoked opium (heroin too) IS vaporized. Not "smoked" like Cannabis or tobacco. Coca leaf is not smoked. It is "chewed" (held in the mouth with a catalyst like lime) or made into a tea.


You may not have quite understood where I was coming from in that post since I didn't add my sig.  :>   While I'd certainly dispute the silly 6 million/year figure  (Look up SAMMEC to read about how numbers like that are made up) I certainly have nothing against e-cigs.


Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

not a paradox

That's no paradox...obviously persons injecting diamorphine don't want to be bothered by 2nd-hand smoke.

Get them the right vaporizing pipes and they'll do it

It's too complicated to smoke (vaporize) with a lighter in one hand, aluminum paper on the other, and a straw in your mouth while not letting the h fall of the paper, and not letting any vapor go to waste all at the same time. That's why people don't do it. Get them a vaporizing pipe (often called a "meth pipe" (which i never understood why is not more common with heroin)), and i bet a lot more users will be willing to switch.

dont get the character damage bit

what was that "character damage"??? what the hell?


what? you mean people judging people because they smoke? i am not trying to be rude or anything. im making a legit inquiry.

but anybody who judges anybody else is worthy of me judging them a loser, in my opinion.

lets forget about everything else for a bit and lets just keep the focus on ending the war on drugs. we'll deal with people judging other people after we end the war on drugs. as far as im concerned, the morning commute, weekend warrior drinking, obsessing about your weight because you want to look sexy to have sex (instead of just having sex without needing to worry about your weight), obsessing over TV shows, getting all the money and insignificant titles you possibly can fit into your insignificant lifetime, girlfriend boyfriend fiance wife husband drama to me thats serious character damage. LOL.

ughh i digress. i apologize. like i said, lets worry about the war on drugs and then well deal with global warming, judging eachother, the decline of the bingo and bowling industries and whether or not drinking purified water is ethical.



Many drugs create new brain

Many drugs create new brain cells (neurogenesis) study on the drugs has not been allowed, now they see it has abnormally impressive health benefits. Even some drugs completely removes addiction. These drugs actually heals and most importantly makes us more human. (empathy)

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