Left-wing parties in Parliament along with those in government were disappointed after the Labour Party rejected the government’s proposal to decriminalize use and possession of small amounts of narcotics. The rejection was met with both harsh criticism and vows to revive the effort.
Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre led the opposition to drug law reform and prevailed, but a large bloc of his own party faithful still support it. It was ironic that one of the few other parties praising Labour’s drug reform rejection was the right-wing Progress Party. The Center Party, arguably Labour’s most important potential government partner, was also pleased.
The non-socialist government parties were most unhappy. “I’m of course disappointed that Jonas Gahr Støre and Labour want to continue to punish people with drug problems,” said Liberals-leader Guri Melby, who currently serves as education minister in the Conservatives-led government. She vowed to continue efforts to confront drug use with help instead of punishment.
Several of Labour’s likely support parties in Parliament, including the Socialist Left, the Reds and the Greens, were also disappointed. SV leader Audun Lysbakken claimed that Labour ruined “an historic opportunity to create more effective and fair drug policy.” Reds leader Bjørnar Moxnes said Labour had made “a gigantic miss-step” while the Greens’ acting leader Arild Hermstad accused Labour of betraying “everyone who struggles with addiction.”