Is Weed Legal In Norway

Is weed legal in Norway? What you need to know about marijuana laws in Norway

The Nordic countries are some of the most liberal on earth, and Norway is no exception. Its progressive politics are often enviously looked at from other corners of the globe, but is weed legal in Norway?

Norway is liberal when it comes to many topics, but drug use is not one of them. Possessing marijuana in the country can land you in trouble, and knowing the laws before you visit is a good idea.

This article will outline the laws in Norway surrounding cannabis use. We’ll talk about the country as a whole — focusing on recreational and medical use — before outlining whether the laws in Oslo are any different from the rest of the country.

Using marijuana in Norway

Norway’s laws surrounding marijuana aren’t as strict as you might find in some of the other Nordic countries. But when it comes to recreational use, the simple matter of fact remains the same — using weed for the sake of enjoyment is illegal.

In addition to using marijuana for recreational use, you are also not allowed to sell it to anyone in the country. Like nearby Sweden, Norway does not define what a hard and soft drug is; all illegal substances fall into a single category.

Even if you aren’t caught smoking weed, possessing weed in Norway is also not allowed. But if you don’t have a huge amount, you might not face significant criminal action — if it’s your first time, anyway.

Is Weed Legal In Norway

Is it illegal to grow weed in Norway?

Growing weed in Norway is illegal, regardless of whether or not you want to use it for personal or medical reasons. If you are caught, you can face criminal action — and again, the severity of your punishment will depend on how bad the authorities determine the situation to be.

If the police find that you are growing weed in the country, you can expect to have your plants confiscated.

What are the punishments for using weed in Norway?

The punishments for using and possessing marijuana in Norway depend on how much you’ve used and other factors. If you’re found to have small amounts of the drug on your person, and it’s your first offense, you will typically receive a fine — but that’s often as far as the punishment goes.

Things get much more serious if you’re found to sell weed in the country. If you sell, store, or supply weed in Norway, you can receive up to two years of jail time; the same is true if you try to import or export hash.

In the most serious cases, you can receive the maximum prison sentence in Norway for involvement with marijuana — which is up to 21 years. And if you have what the authorities deem to be “very substantial” amounts of weed in your possession, you can land yourself jail time of up to 15 years.

A slightly more lenient but still strict sentence is possible if your offense is an “aggravated” one. Again, it’s up to the police and court to determine whether you fall into that category or not.

If you have more than 15 grams of weed on you, you’re probably not going to fall into the minor offense category — and you can expect more action than just a fine.

Is Weed Legal In Norway

Can I bring weed into Norway from abroad?

Buying, producing, and distributing marijuana in a country is one thing — but many people import their drugs from other parts of the world. So, is weed legal in Norway for importation purposes?

Again, the answer is a firm no. If you’re found to try and smuggle marijuana into the country, you can expect the border police to confiscate your drugs at the very least. Depending on the nature of the offense, you could face further action.

Depending on your intentions, you could face receiving a ban from Norway — even if you’re an EU or EEA citizen. While the Norwegian immigration directorate’s website doesn’t specifically mention the consequences of violating its drug laws, you should consider a couple of passages worth reading:

(For EU/EEA citizens, under Grounds for Expulsion):

“You can be expelled if:

  • You have committed a crime under Norwegian law and
  • You are a serious threat to public order and safety.”

Similarly, you can get expelled from Norway as a non-EU/EEA citizen — which includes people from the UK as of January 1st, 2021 – if you’re found guilty of the two above offense criteria.

In addition to getting expelled from Norway, the authorities can determine whether you should also receive a ban from entering the Schengen area altogether. 

What are marijuana laws in Norway for medical purposes?

Whereas marijuana in Norway is illegal for recreational use, things are more relaxed when talking about medical purposes. The legalization of cannabis for medical reasons is relatively new in Norway, having only occurred in 2016.

Getting weed in Norway for medical use is still difficult, however. Costs are high, and you need to obtain permission from a professional before doing so. This goes for both marijuana and cannabis-related products, such as CBD oil.

In most instances, your request for using cannabis for medical purposes will likely get rejected. You need to prove that it’s an absolute necessity before a doctor gives the green light for you to go and get some.

It’s worth noting that you cannot bring weed into Norway for medical use, regardless of whether a doctor in another country has prescribed it for you. You must receive possession from a doctor in Norway before you can use it.

Is Weed Legal In Norway

Will there be a cannabis reform in Norway?

While Norway’s laws surrounding cannabis are somewhat strict, they aren’t as tight as in Sweden or Iceland. And in recent years, the topic of decriminalizing drugs in the country has become a strong talking point — so much so that it has been debated in parliament.

In 2017, a bill was put forward to reform drug laws. Had it gone through, possessing small amounts of drugs like marijuana would not have been punished. But in April 2021, those plans hit a significant stumbling block after not obtaining a majority vote in parliament.

Despite that, over 40% still voted in favor — showing that reform for drug laws in the country has a good level of support behind it. And before the vote, various individuals in Norway expressed their thoughts on decriminalizing drug use.

For example, as cited by Reuters, Conservative Party Health Minister Bent Høie said: “I believe young people can be motivated to change behavior without the threat of force or criminal punishment.

“This will make it easier to seek help when they need it, as they won’t have to fear jail or fines.”

Meanwhile, Guri Melby — Education Minister and leader of the Liberal Party — said:

“Decades of criminal punishment has not worked.

“We will no longer stand by and watch people being stigmatized and called criminals when they are in fact ill.”

Is weed popular in Norway?

Despite marijuana being illegal in Norway, it still exists. And like many parts of the world, weed is very popular in this Scandinavian country. In 2021, research was published that looked into the use of marijuana in Norway between 2010 and 2019.

The research covered over 628,000 people that were spread across Norway’s 428 municipalities. Of those, 566,912 were usable in the research — and these came from 340 of those 428 localities.

Respondents had to answer whether they had smoked weed during the last 12 months. As the study’s findings found:

“Boys reported overall higher cannabis use, with ~2:1 gender ratio for any past year cannabis use and a 3:1 gender ratio for frequent cannabis use.

“Adolescents in Eastern Norway reported higher cannabis use compared with other areas in the country, and adolescents from municipalities with a higher population size reported higher rates of cannabis use than smaller municipalities.

“A gradual increase in cannabis use from T1 to T3 was found in Eastern Norway and in the largest municipalities. More generally, proportions of past year cannabis use showed a marked increase from T2 to T3 across genders, grade/age groups, geographical location, and municipality population, with few exceptions.”

Meanwhile, figures published on Statista show that 13.9% of research participants aged 15-24 said that they smoked weed in 2020. After that, usage steadily declined within different age groups.

Is Weed Legal In Norway

Is smoking weed legal in Oslo?

In some countries, rules are different in varying provinces and regions. For example, while Oregon in the US permits recreational drug use, Wyoming has completely banned it. Is weed legal in Norway if you go to Oslo?

To put things shortly, the answer is still no. If the police find weed on you, you will face the same laws and prosecution procedures as in other parts of Norway. As such, we recommend that you find something else to do when visiting the city.

Weed and marijuana laws in Norway

To answer the “is weed legal in Norway?” question, the answer is — with the exception of medicinal use — a resounding no. And even when using the drug for medical purposes, getting a hold of it is far from easy and often expensive.

If you’re found to possess a small amount of weed, you will probably only receive a fine if it’s your first offense. But for repeat violations and more serious ones, you can expect a significant punishment that’s better to avoid.

Luckily, you can find plenty of fun things to do in Norway without using drugs. One is to visit Bergen, the country’s beautiful and exciting second-largest city. Why not find out more about what you can do there?

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