Own your ow legal marijuana business
Your guide to making money in the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry
Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs
Volume 3 - Public Policy Options

Chapter 20 - Public Policy In Other Countries - Sweden

Recent reports

In 1998, the government created a Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Its mandate was to evaluate Sweden’s drug policy and to propose, within the concept of a restrictive drug policy, measures for its strengthening and streamlining. The Commission was not to deviate from the overall aim of a drug-free society. The terms of reference were to:

··          propose improvements of methods and systems to assess the drug situation and to evaluate the goal of a drug-free society;

··          evaluate and propose measures to strengthen and streamline drug prevention measures;

··          analyse the development of treatment programmes, including those in the prison and probation system, and propose measures to improve treatment and rehabilitation of drug abusers;

··          evaluate the extent and focus of national funds for the development of treatment and of measures to prevent drug-related crime,

··          analyse the need for changes in the working methods in the judicial system and in penal and criminal procedural legislation;

··          review existing research, propose how research can be stimulated, strengthened and organized and identify important but neglected areas for research in the drug field;

··          frame strategies for targeted information measures and for the formation of opinion.


The Commission recently published a report entitled The Crossroads (referring to one direction that calls for a significant increase of resources in the form of commitment, direction, competence and funding and another that implies a lowering of goals and considerable acceptance of drug abuse).

The Commission noted that the drugs issue was not a political priority in recent years. This situation has led to reduced funding for all sectors involved, while the drug problem has become more severe and widespread. The following are some of the Commission’s main findings and recommendations.[1][122]

Leadership: The Commission noted that there is a need for stronger priorization, clearer control and better follow-up of drug policy and of concrete initiatives at all levels of government.

Demand reduction: The Commission noted that there are no hard boundaries between preventive measures, care and treatment, and the restriction of supply. For preventive measures to succeed, they must be "included in a system of measures restricting availability, and there must be clear rules which include society’s norms and values, as well as effective care and treatment."[2][123] The Commission viewed care and treatment as an essential element of drug policy measures as they help reduce drug abuse and also the harm to drug abusers. In addition, the Commission found a need for improving the competence of those in the field of care and treatment. It set out the following guiding principles regarding care and treatment:

··          all drug abusers shall be reached by an offer of help and, if necessary, the abuse treated.

··          advice, support and assistance shall reach people at an early stage of abuse.

··          measures of care shall be aimed at achieving a life free from substance abuse and illegal drugs.

··          care and other measures on behalf of substance abusers shall be of good quality.

··          measures to combat substance abuse shall be sustainable and long-term.


Supply reduction: The Commission did not find any real deficiencies in the legislation or the working methods used by drug authorities, although it was vital that these authorities be allocated more resources. Police and customs have not gained control over the illegal market. In fact, indicators show that supply is more generous, prices are lower than in the past and the variety of drugs has expanded. With respect to combating illegal drug trade, the Commission recommended that the organizational structure of the police be examined (for example, the way in which the dissolution of specialized drug squads has affected the quality of police investigations) and that any shortcomings be followed up. The Commission also recommended that special investigation methods (such as controlled deliveries) be reviewed and that the findings lead to the drafting of guidelines on the subject.

Competence development and research: Competence development and research: The Commission was of the view that it was important to improve knowledge concerning different aspects of narcotic drugs, measures used to combat drug abuse and the effect of drug policy.



[1][122]  The Swedish Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Summary of the report The Crossroads from the Swedish Commission of Narcotic Drugs, Sweden, 2000.

[2][123]  Ibid.

Library Highlights

Drug Information Articles

Drug Rehab