Pubdate: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 Source: Aftenposten (Norway Web) Contact: http://www.aftenposten.no/english Note: Aftenposten Interactive's English Desk welcomes letters from readers. Please address comments to us at and include your full name and home town if you'd like your remarks to be published. Aftenposten is Norway's leading broadsheet newspaper, based in Oslo but with a subscription reach that spans the nation. The morning edition, generally considered the country's "paper of record," is read by some 811,000 every weekday. Its evening edition focuses on news and events in and around the capital of Oslo, with average daily readership of more than 500,000. Aftenposten Interaktiv's English news service ( http://www.aftenposten.no/english ) specializes in Norwegian news presented in English. NORWAY: COMMISSION SET TO CALL FOR DECRIMINALIZATION A government-appointed commission will soon set off some political dynamite, reports newspaper Aftenposten. The commission recommends decriminalizing narcotics use and possession, liberalizing pornography rules and raising the blood-alcohol limit allowed for driving a car. The proposals are sure to spur heated debate among politicians who appointed the commission back in 1994 to "modernize" Norwegian laws. The commission's conclusions are due to be turned over to Justice Minister Odd Einar Dorum in March. The commission, according to Aftenposten, believes only the sale of narcotics should be penalized. Both usage and possession would be allowed under the commission's proposal. The commission's reasons for decriminalizing drug use and possession remain unknown, but it's likely they follow the reasoning of law professor Johs Andenes, who has pointed out inconsistencies in current laws. Public authorities, for example, hand out free hypodermic needles to drug addicts, even though drug use is illegal. Other commission recommendations also are bound to set off fireworks, including one that would remove censoring of porno films. The commission also wants to make it harder to convict motorists of vehicular manslaughter, while it also wants to return Norway's allowable blood-alcohol level for motorists to 0.5, from today's 0.2. The commission has been working on revision of Norwegian laws for more than seven years. Commission members include the head of Norway's white-collar crime unit, a Supreme Court justice, a state attorney, a professor at the University of Oslo and a well-known defense attorney.