Norway Eases LSD Laws
Norway has eased its penalties for LSD possession. People caught with LSD in their possession will no longer receive jail time and will instead get community service.
The decision comes after a man was sentenced to 5 months in prison after LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as acid) was found in his apartment. The 36-year-old man, a computer programmer named Henrik Akselsen, was charged with importing and possession of LSD.
After receiving the sentence, Akselsen felt that 5 months in jail was too long and he took his case to the Supreme Court with the help of EmmaSofia. EmmaSofia is a human rights organization that advocates for psychedelic drug use. Using the argument that LSD has had recent scientific breakthroughs for addiction, as well as that the laws for possession hadn’t been evaluated in over 18 years. Akselsen’s new sentence will be 45 hours of community service.
Akselsen's apartment was searched after the authorities seized a 100-dose package of LSD addressed to him. Because Akselsen has no previous arrests and a clean record, the Supreme Court commuted his sentence to service work, Norway’s version of community service. The sentence is expected to serve as a barometer for future possession cases. Norway’s possession laws were set back in the 1970’s during an era rich with anti-drug propaganda.
Advocates for psychedelics, epidemiologists, scientists and researchers say that legislators writing the laws for drug policy should reflect the most current research, including the health benefits of psychedelics and human rights issues. The professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London David Nutt told reporters that:
"I am delighted that Norway has taken the lead in revising drug sentencing policy according to evidence of harm. Let's hope other countries now follow suit."
Supporters also believe that revoking the ban on LSD would pave the way for more research. They added that LSD is being studied for a treatment for opioid addiction and is safer than alcohol and tobacco.
Niko Mann is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles, California.