Health Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has proposed to legalize the smoking of heroin as an alternative to intravenous administration of the drug, to reduce the number of deaths from drug overdoses.
Sensible harm reduction stuff. That should prevent a handful of accidental deaths. Meanwhile, however...
"We believe that smokeless tobacco should be banned by 2017, in line with other EU countries minus Sweden," says Løchen [of the Health Directorate Expert Group].
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh anyway, doesn't he? On the one hand, we have a measure designed to reduce the risks associated with the world's most notorious—but relatively little-used—illegal product. On the other hand, the same public health 'experts' are calling for the least hazardous variety of a commonly used legal product to be outlawed. How about a little joined up thinking?
The number of life-years gained from the heroin switch-over will be negligible compared to the number of life-years that have already been gained by Norwegian smokers switching to snus—a number that would be even higher if the public was not kept in the dark about its harm reduction potential. Does "first do not harm" mean nothing to these fools?