Sisters are never alike? Drug control intensity in the Nordic countries.
Int J Drug Policy. 2019 Aug 16;:
Authors: Moeller K
BACKGROUND: The Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden – have traditionally had different approaches to drug control policies. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, Sweden and Norway were the most restrictive countries. Prior research has described how Nordic control policies became more repressive after this, but no research has examined this claim using the intensity of implementation as a measure.
METHODS: This study uses data collated by the EMCDDA to examine drug control intensity from 2000 to 2016. The four countries are compared on three measures: seizure numbers relative to total population, seizures numbers by type of drug relative to population, and cannabis seizures relative to the number of annual cannabis users. Standard bivariate tests for statistical significance are used to compare control intensity over time and between countries.
RESULTS: Compared to an earlier period from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, Denmark maintained the level of drug seizures to population from 2000 to 2016. Finland increased intensity by 176 percent but remained at the lowest level in the region. Norway increased by 18 percent and is currently the country with the highest enforcement intensity. Sweden reduced overall intensity by 57 percent, which decreases the level for the region by 22 percent. Sixty to seventy percent of all seizures in every country was for cannabis. Accounting for cannabis prevalence rates changes the ranking of enforcement intensity in the countries.
CONCLUSION: Drug control intensity in the Nordic countries has harmonized over time. The disparity between the extremes of low control intensity in Finland and high intensity in Sweden has been reduced. Denmark is still comparatively lenient to users when considering high cannabis prevalence rates and Norway has taken the position as the strictest country on all control intensity measures.
PMID: 31427212 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Source: ncbi 2