16:04 GMT24 September 2020
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    The use or distribution of marijuana in any form is prohibited in Denmark. Even in cases where cannabis is sold for medical use to people suffering from disease, suppliers and buyers risk being imprisoned for long periods. But Copenhagen may soon change that.

    One bill presented on Tuesday to Denmark's parliament introduces a more moderate punishment for drivers convicted of driving while high.

    Currently, Danish drivers with even trace amounts of THC in their bloodstream can be ordered to pay a fine and have their driver's license suspended for up to three years, even though there is no evidence that using marijuana increases the risk of automobile accidents. Several studies, including one conducted by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2013-2014, show that motorists who use cannabis present a significantly lower risk for accidents than drivers who are drunk on alcohol.

    According to Jan Jorgensen of Denmark's Liberal Party, marijuana-use punishments are unfair to those "who have not been of any danger to traffic at all." If the new bill is passed, the penalty will be decided depending on the level of THC detected in the blood.

    Another suggested measure would allow prescribing marijuana to ease the pain of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, chronic pain of any kind, and chemotherapy after-effects. The Danish Health Ministry aims to launch four years of clinical trials to test the efficacy of the measure, beginning 2018.

    On the same day the bills were presented, a married Danish couple was arrested for allegedly supplying cannabis to patients suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses.

    Claus "Moffe" Nielsen pleaded guilty to the charge, while his wife denied any involvement in the distribution of the drug.

    The couple is facing up to ten years in prison for violating Denmark's drugs laws. It is unclear whether the new measure would retroactively influence the outcome of their case.


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