Professor Willy Pedersen from University of Oslo opens a new debate on alcohol and drug policy in Norway. Alcohol should be the first priority. But the government has an indecisive alcohol policy that might lead major problems, according to Pedersen.
– It is much easier to talk about weed, it does not affect most people. People like to talk about marijuana, but not about their own alcohol consumption, he said to Aftenposten.
Pedersen also believes that “war on drug” emphasising on policing and punishment is outdated and the alternative approaches including legalization should be investigated.
– Two U.S. states have legalized cannabis, and we should pay close attention to what happens there. If the experiences are good and consumption is not increasing, I think we should consider to follow the same policy. There are two reasons: Cannabis is less dangerous than alcohol. Moreover a lot of money pumped into organized crime. Many young people are drawn into criminal networks that way, says he.
How dangerous is marijuana?
Pedersen further notes that there are two types of damage from marijuna: Some come from actual use. Here cannabis ranks slightly lower than tobacco and alcohol, but they are very harmful substances. The second type is related to its illegality. This means that users must enter in a criminal system to get access to dangerous substances. When we take this into account, the use of the substance is extremly dangerous, especially for very young people. My advice is always to stay away, adds he.