Article by Jon Hiltz, Marijuana.com
Iceland is about to introduce a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis for the entire nation.
“We have been working on this bill since December. I have had the youth movement of Reform (my party) involved along the way,” said MP Pawel Bartoszek, the author of the bill, in an interview with Marijuana.com. “We felt it was ready and we wanted to have a good discussion about this during this autumn session.”
Bartoszek added that the bill will likely be introduced to Iceland’s Parliament today or tomorrow. Once introduced, citizens and others can comment on the legislation before it is discussed formally. “People can start reading it, and everybody can send in comments to the Parliament,” said Bartoszek.
The bill is expected to be up for discussion in Parliament sometime after Iceland’s general election on Oct. 28. Despite the wait, the idea is already seeing support from more than one political party in the Nordic nation.
“The reaction to the bill has been strong, from both sides. I have three co-sponsors, Sigrún Ingibjörg Gísladóttir from Reform and Gunnar Hrafn Jónsson and Jón Þór Ólafsson from the Pirate party.”
Bartoszek clearly has optimism for the bill, but the Icelandic politician is also realistic regarding the fact that naysayers exist in his country. “I [am receiving] lots of support, but as in any democratic society lots of people think this is a bad idea, and express that loudly.”
At this point, Bartoszek is unsure of the level of support he will see from citizens regarding full legalization, but he feels that cannabis reform of some kind is something Icelanders would like to have. “I hear in the discussion that many people would like to see some sort of decriminalization as the first approach. I simply think that the [legalization] solution is more effective than decriminalization. Regulation gives us the option to control prices and control access,” said Bartoszek.