• 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
Crackdown on illegal streaming in Sweden
Popcorn remains legal in Sweden but a site with a similar name isn't. Photo: TT

Crackdown on illegal streaming in Sweden

Users of illegal movie and television series streaming sites in Sweden including Popcorn Time are set to be tracked by a Danish lawfirm representing "major Hollywood companies" and could face fines of around 2000 SEK ($231). READ  

Swedes' Easter holiday saved as strike called off
A strike threatening to hit Swedish holidayers has been called off. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/SCANPIX

Swedes' Easter holiday saved as strike called off

Tens of thousands of Swedes hoping to spend their Easter weekend in Helsinki can rest easily again, as a sympathy strike threatening to hit all passenger traffic between Sweden and Finland was called off late on Wednesday afternoon. READ  

April Fools' Day
April Fools' Day: The Local's 2015 gags
We had many readers fooled that a town in southern Sweden said "no" in a Scottish way. Photo: Shutterstock

April Fools' Day: The Local's 2015 gags

Did you spot our story about Swedes in a former Viking town sounding Scottish? It was one of a range of April Fools' Day jokes across The Local's network of nine European news sites. Have a laugh reading about our other red herrings. READ  

Analysis
Rocky six months for new Swedish PM Löfven
Swedish PM Stefan Löfven on a visit to the US. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Rocky six months for new Swedish PM Löfven

The Swedish centre-left coalition government's first six months in power since last year's general election have not been the whopping success that Prime Minister Stefan Löfven had been hoping for. READ  

Swedish pilots fail to reach deal with SAS
Negotiations between Swedish pilots' unions and SAS are ongoing. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish pilots fail to reach deal with SAS

A deal between Swedish pilots and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is being automatically extended a week at a time after the agreement ended at midnight on Tuesday. READ  

Presented by ConnectSweden
CEO: Bromma 'essential' for Skanska's success
Pierre Olofsson, CEO of Skanska Sweden. Photo: Skanska

CEO: Bromma 'essential' for Skanska's success

The future of Bromma Airport has sparked a torrent of political debate, with supporters arguing it’s essential for Sweden's connectivity. But it’s more than that, says Skanska Sweden’s CEO Pierre Olofsson. It’s also critical for work-life balance. READ  

Thousands lose global TV channels in Telia row
Several channels are affected. Photo: Telia

Thousands lose global TV channels in Telia row

Up to 700,000 households that subscribe to Nordic telecoms giant Telia’s television packages have seen several channels – including Eurosport – disappear due to a dispute with broadcaster SBS. READ  

April Fools' Day
Sweden's silliest April Fools' Day tricks
Could Swedish supermarket shelves look like this? Photo: TT

Sweden's silliest April Fools' Day tricks

Alcohol is set to be sold in a Swedish supermarket, buses are introducing 'selfie zones' and Malmö football club's new grass contains cannabis, if you believe the country's newspapers. Here's The Local's round-up of this year's April Fool gags. READ  

The Local List
Six super Swedish family Easter traditions
Easter witches in Sweden. Photo: Lena Granefelt/Image Bank Sweden

Six super Swedish family Easter traditions

The clocks have gone forward and the supermarket aisles are piled high with chocolate delights. It must be time for Easter. But what do secular Swedes do slightly differently to other nations when it comes to celebrating the festival? READ  

Presented by ConnectSweden
ConnectSweden: Examining Sweden's place in the world

ConnectSweden: Examining Sweden's place in the world

Read The Local's ConnectSweden ambassador series, in which we interview prominent figures in Sweden's business, diplomatic, and cultural spheres to learn more about Sweden's place in the world, both literally and figuratively, and how international air connectivity affects perceptions of the country abroad. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
US spy agency to feature in new 'Stieg Larsson' book sequel
National
Beaver bite at Swedish bus stop
Sponsored Article
ConnectSweden: Examining Sweden's place in the world
Gallery
Property of the week: Åreda
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm is the 'Boston of Europe'
Blog updates

27 March

Celebrating Three Great English Exports In 2015 (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Deputy Head of Mission Aidan Liddle joins us for another guest blog today. In 2015, England..." READ »

 

27 March

Editor’s blog, March 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Europe remains in shock following the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps that killed 150..." READ »

 
 
 
National
How this Syrian travelled to Sweden
Was Swedish TV host too harsh on nationalist leader Åkesson?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
National
Travelling over Easter? Don't miss our guide to rail disruption
Scandinavian airlines change cockpit rules after Greenwings crash
National
Sweden remembers Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer
Politics
Why petrol prices are going up
Gallery
People-watching: March 28th
What's on in Sweden: March 26th - April 2nd
Stieg Larsson's partner blasts Millennium trilogy sequel
Society
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
Gallery
People-watching: March 25th
National
Which words are changing in Sweden's latest dictionary?
National
Is this house 'un-Swedish'?
National
Sweden pays tribute to victims of Germanwings Alps crash
National
Neo-Nazi activity rising in Sweden
National
How to make Swedish Waffles
Gallery
Property of the week: Torslanda - Hjuvik
National
Stray dog Arthur moves in with Swedish owners
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
National
Sweden triples maximum limit at asylum centres
Gallery
People-watching: March 21st
National
Why elderly Swedes are among the world's happiest people
National
TIMELINE: Gothenburg shootings
National
Can Sweden's feminist party score success in neighbouring Norway?
National
Why Brits can't get enough of Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's solar eclipse
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Royal wedding countdown begins
National
Viking ring reveals Islamic ties
National
TIMELINE: Julian Assange sex allegations in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: March 18th
National
One in three Russian diplomats are spies, says Sweden's Security Service
National
Hitchcock opera set to hit Gothenburg stage
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Northern Lights on show across Sweden
Technology
Why Swedish pop star Robyn is pushing for more girls in tech
Gallery
Property of the week: Umeå
National
Introducing Sweden's Eurovision 2015 entry Måns Zelmerlöw
Gallery
People-watching: March 13th - 15th
National
Why have Swedish prosecutors made a U-turn in Julian Assange case?
Sponsored Article
How Sweden and India can work together
Politics
Who's the new young leader of the Christian Democrats?
Travel
Why are Swedes so obsessed with Mallorca?
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
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

3,383
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