According to two social media posts, former First Lady of Iceland, Dorrit Moussaieff, has voiced her opinion that cannabis should be legalised in Iceland.
Two photographs on what is thought to be Dorrit’s private Instagram account show two cannabis plants; one picture holds the caption #LegaliseCannabis, the other #Legaliseweed. The Icelandic government first banned cannabis on the 14th October 1969, later ratifying it into law in 1974.
Despite its illegality, Iceland has one of the highest rates of cannabis use in the world, with approximately 18.3% of the adult population said to use it recreationally, as reported last year by the World Drug Report. In February of 2018, state broadcaster RUV claimed that profits associated with cannabis growth and production in Reykjavík alone had overtaken many foreign imports.
All the while, Iceland’s tenure as one of the safest, most peaceful countries on earth continues untarnished.
Iceland has something of a reputation when it comes to prohibition, infamously banning beer until 1989 on account that the beverage was “unpatriotic”.
Naturally, given the health and behavioural risks associated with alcohol, as well as the enlightening comparisons to those engaged in marijuana use, many are quick to point out the hypocrisy that one substance—by most accounts, the lesser evil—is still banned.
2018 was an important year for proponents of marijuana reform, particularly in North America. Three US red states—Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah—have made moves to legalise medical marijuana, hemp became a legal crop across the country as of December 20th, and Canada ended all prohibition completely.
Even Donald Trump lent his support for ending the federal prohibition of marijuana, making him the first sitting US President to do so.
In short, those with a penchant for the funky skunky could not be living in a more transformative period for society.
Many of those responsible for the domestic supply of cannabis in Iceland consider it a human rights campaign, where civil disobedience is simply a necessary part of changing legislation.
Marijuana is used medically to treat a wide range of ailments, including Alzheimer’s and Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma and eating disorders such as anorexia. Exactly whether Dorrit is proposing the legalisation of medical or recreational marijuana, or both, is currently unclear.
Still, proponents of change imagine Reykjavík twinned with Amsterdam, a tourist hot spot where pre-rolled and taxable joints are sold at coffee shops and pedestrians are free to smoke or consume edibles without fear of police interference.
From their side, not only will this liberal approach bolster Iceland as a travel destination, but will also greatly aid those who seek out treatment for cannabis addiction—reported at around 700 people annually in Iceland—due to it being treat as a health issue rather than a legal one.
It would remiss of us not to mention that cannabis, of course, comes with its own health risks, including inflamed lungs, impairment, changes in mood and psychosis.
See Also: Travel Safety in Iceland
Dorrit is married to former President, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, and has over the years built a reputation as one of the island’s more spirited spokespersons.
For instance, she recently expressed a desire to see her dog cloned, temporarily pinched another dog during celebrations at Þingvellir, and even caused a diplomatic incident in 2006 after trying to enter her home country of Israel with only a British passport.
While this all paints the former first lady as a contentious figure, these incidents have made Dorrit well-liked in Iceland, perfectly positioning her as an advocate for change.
What do you consider is the correct policy when it comes to the legalisation of cannabis in Iceland? Do you believe it would have a positive or negative influence on society? Make sure to leave your thoughts and questions in the Facebook comments box below.