• Sweden's news in English
 

'I did drugs and Sweden should get real': Pirate Party founder

Published: 29 Apr 2014 07:30 GMT+02:00

Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Pirate Party (Piratpartiet), was among eight EU candidates who were listed as having used drugs in the past.
 
In the comment field beneath The Local's story, Falkvinge weighed into the debate
 
"No, I haven't 'tried' drugs. I have 'used' drugs, and enjoyed it. That's the whole damn point," he wrote. "The Swedish elitist debate is seriously deranged on these issues - to start getting realistic, we must first acknowledge that people are using drugs because they enjoy doing so."
 
"It's really no difference from enjoying a glass of wine or a fine cognac. Or for that matter, a cup of coffee, which is a very common drug that was once banned in Sweden as - wait for it - a 'gateway drug to heavier abuse'. Yes, you read that right."
 
Falkvinge said the article had sent ripples among his colleagues around the world.
 
"My Dutch colleagues had a blast reading it. They were sending it around with a 'Not the Onion' tag," he told The Local on Monday afternoon, referring to the satirical newspaper The Onion.
 
The Pirate Party founder believes Sweden's approach to drugs in general is a tool of aggression for the police.  
 
"What we're seeing here is a ban on eating or drinking unhealthily. And it gives police a very aggressive tool to use on people they don't like, and we've seen it being seriously abused over the past several years. We believe that we have to start somewhere when it comes to questioning the doctrine," he explained. 
 
He said that police "arrest anyone on any bullshit suspicion" - often just to harass them. 
 
Sweden criminalized illicit drug use in 1988 after a 20-year push by the Swedish National Association for a Drug-free Society (RNS). Its goal was "a society free from illegal drugs". 
 
Sweden's main political parties all support the country's zero tolerance view on drugs, with the part exception of the Left Party (Vänsterpartiet), which states that private use of narcotics should be legalized.
 
 
The Pirate Party, meanwhile, aims to decriminalize the personal use of controlled substances as well as the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use. "This is a very firm anchor in our civil liberties platform," he said.
 
"The Pirate Party, and I as the founder, have a very research-based approach to policy making. Sweden has a borderline narcissistic approach to many policy areas. Sweden, while on forefront in many areas, tends to mistake this for being on the forefront in all areas. And frankly, this is not the case."
 
"There tends to be an idea in Sweden that we are the apex of civilization, but once you cross border in any direction you see this is laughable. Quite a few things in Swedish policy are not allowed to be questioned and drug repression has been one of them. It's high time we start looking at how inhumane and counter productive these policies have been." 
 
"Sweden's approach is destructive in the long term. But if it turns out that harsh repression is best, then so be it, but at least this must be based on sound research and open discussion. We believe the absence of research and discussion is a far greater threat than any narcotics," he added.
 
The Pirate Party, which earned 7.1 percent of the vote in the 2009 European elections, was founded amid the debate about illegal downloading of film and music. It initially focused on promoting looser copyright laws and restrictions on the authorities' powers to snoop on computer users. The party now campaigns on a wide range of issues.
 
The party has prompted a growing number of other pirate parties worldwide. Recent polls ahead of the upcoming European elections put the party's support at between 1 and 2 percent.
 
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand our cause," Falkvinge told The Local. "You'd expect privacy in the analogue age when sending letters and making phone calls. We think such freedom of speech and expression should remain a right in the digital age, and these rights are at serious risk."
 
 

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish broadcaster sends porn to children
A child with a mobile device. Photo: Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se

Swedish broadcaster sends porn to children

Sweden's tax-funded public broadcaster SVT has apologized to parents after it accidentally sent an SMS to 60 children which included a link to a pornographic site. READ  

The Local List
Are these the five worst places to live in Sweden?
Högsby has been named as the worst place to live in Sweden. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Are these the five worst places to live in Sweden?

Sweden is a great place to be, from its vibrant capital to cute, picturesque towns in the countryside. But even within this Nordic paradise, there are some real dumps. Here's our guide to the five municipalities that ended up at the bottom of an annual ranking of places to live in Sweden. READ  

Swedish dads told to take more paternity leave
A Swedish Dad with his children. Photo: Carolina Romara/Image Bank Sweden

Swedish dads told to take more paternity leave

UPDATED: Plans to introduce a third month of paid parental leave reserved for fathers are set to be introduced in 2016, the Swedish government has revealed, in a bid to further increase gender equality. READ  

Spring boost for Swedish economy revealed
Shoppers in Stockholm. Photo: Simon Paulin/TT

Spring boost for Swedish economy revealed

Sweden's economy grew by 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2015, and was up 2.5 percent on the same period a year ago, according to figures released on Friday. But Swedes still appear to be holding back from swiping their cards at the nation's tills. READ  

Royal Wedding
Six facts about Europe's hottest power couple
Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip announcing their engagement in 2014. Photo: TT

Six facts about Europe's hottest power couple

Move over William and Kate, Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and fiancée Sofia Hellqvist are causing an international stir ahead of their upcoming wedding with one Australian paper even calling them 'Europe's coolest couple'. Here are six facts you need to learn about these rocking royals. READ  

Real-life police drama on Sweden's 'The Bridge'
The Öresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Real-life police drama on Sweden's 'The Bridge'

Something resembling an episode of the popular gritty crime drama 'The Bridge' (Bron) occurred on Thursday night when Swedish and Danish police engaged in a car chase that ended with the arrest of four men. READ  

Swedish firm wins huge New York airport bid
Travellers at New York's LaGuardia Airport in January 2015. Photo: TT

Swedish firm wins huge New York airport bid

A consortium led by Swedish construction company Skanska has been picked for a $3.6 billion (30.5 billion kronor) project to modernize New York's LaGuardia Airport, regional transport officials have announced. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish strawberry cordial
Strawberry cordial is a refreshing summer drink. Photo: John Duxbury

How to make Swedish strawberry cordial

Swedes love berries and enjoy putting them in both chilled cordials as well as hot drinks during winter. Here, food writer John Duxbury shares his favourite recipe for a raw strawberry squash (rårörd jordgubbssaft) that's delicious year-round but perfect for Swedish summer time. READ  

Swedish city apartment buyers in 'trouble' zone
Apartment blocks in Gothenburg: Photo: Simon Paulin/Image Bank Sweden

Swedish city apartment buyers in 'trouble' zone

One of Sweden's biggest banks has warned that too many potential buyers in Gothenburg and Stockholm are set to spend more than 30 percent of their disposable income on monthly mortgage payments and related costs, putting them in danger of potential financial problems in future. READ  

US rapper Wyclef Jean: 'I want to move to Sweden'
US-Haitian rap artist Wyclef Jean. Photo: AP Photo/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron

US rapper Wyclef Jean: 'I want to move to Sweden'

A small Swedish town two hours north of Stockholm could get an unexpected celebrity resident. Rap star Wyclef Jean fell in love with Sandviken after a gig there two years ago and has now told a Swedish tabloid that he is planning a move to the town in the next couple of years. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Five unmissable events in Sweden
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
Business & Money
Sweden drops in leading global business rankings
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
National
Royal princess couple to quit Stockholm for UK
Blog updates

29 May

Editor’s blog, May 29th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Sweden has spent the week celebrating stealing the Eurovision crown (again), with even our most..." READ »

 

26 May

Vet, kan, känner eller känner till? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It happens every now and then that my students mix up the words “vet”, “kan”, “känner”..." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
What to ask before buying your first home in Sweden
Sponsored Article
'No one tells expats about unemployment benefits'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: People-watching: May 17th
Sport
Fake quotes in Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Swedish memoirs
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Your May sun snaps
Education
Does Sweden mark down foreigners' children?
Sponsored Article
What it's like to be a student in Malmö
National
Russian veterans' Nazi attack on Ikea
Gallery
Property of the week: Lugnvik, Östersund
National
Avicii confirms royal wedding DJ gig
Sponsored Article
Kristin Amparo: 'Swedes are afraid to be proud'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw through the years
Gallery
People-watching: May 22nd-23rd
National
Why are Sweden's beaches among the worst in Europe?
National
VIDEO: Can you get your tongue around Sweden's word for 'nurse'?
National
How two million Swedes are designing a 'house of clicks'
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Five facts you need to know about Sweden's Eurovision entry
National
Why do one in three Swedes want to join Nato?
Features
What to do in Stockholm this summer
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th
National
How Sweden and Saudi Arabia got back on speaking term after row
Gallery
Property of the week: Västra hamnen, Malmö
Sponsored Article
'There is no such thing as Swedish values'
National
Why is support for the Sweden Democrats at a record high?
Sponsored Article
ConnectSweden: Examining Sweden's place in the world
Gallery
People-watching: May 15th - 17th
National
VIDEO: Swedish man's roar scares off charging bear
National
'Gang conflict' linked to latest Gothenburg attack
National
RECIPE: How to make Panna cotta with cloudberry jam
Sponsored Article
'Educated immigrants get stuck in limbo in Sweden'
National
Sweden backs migrant sharing plan
National
Swedish boozing on the rise
National
Why Sweden's deputy PM was forced to apologize for Auschwitz analogy
National
End of the road for Julian Assange's arrest appeal?
Features
Booked to go to one of Sweden's sizzling music festivals yet?
National
Meet the Swedish boy who used to be a girl
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Estelle through the years
National
Why is obesity ballooning in Sweden?
National
VIDEO: The bizarre Swedish nurses song that's gone viral
National
Ecuador stray dog Arthur in Swedish charity race
National
UK expert: 'Sweden's current military state is alarming'
National
Elfdalian: a real language spoken in central Sweden in 2015
National
Is King's love for house tracks behind new military music?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hjortnäs, Leksand
National
Sex-crazed grouse terrorizes Swedes
Sponsored Article
'Never waste a good crisis'
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,260
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se