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Rehab Clinic Managers Think Cannabis Legalisation Likely

YLE News, Finland, 28th March 2006

Many managers of drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics of the A-Clinic Foundation are resigned to the eventuality that cannabis will be legalised, sooner or later, in Finland.

A survey of 40 managers by Sunnuntaisuomalainen, a Sunday supplement of a number of provincial newspapers in Finland found that of 40 clinic managers, half believed that cannabis would be decriminalised in the future. Only ten respondents of the survey, which was conducted in March, believed that cannabis would never be decriminalised.

None were in favour of cannabis decriminalisation. They all felt that allowing cannabis use would increase the problems caused by drugs generally and the costs associated with it, such as expenditure on health care and rehabilitation.

The majority believed that the decriminalisation of cannabis in Finland would depend on developments in cannabis policy in central Europe. Many also felt that the use of cannabis was now seen as a well established feature of youth culture, alongside tobacco and alcohol consumption. Some predicted that decriminalisation will take place within the next ten years.

However, one respondent to the survey was of the opinion that attitudes towards drugs like cannabis were in fact becoming less tolerant, rather than more liberal. It was noted that two thirds of all those convicted of drug related offences in the courts were also drug users themselves.

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