Pot smoker gets his confiscated drugs back

Svein Berg, 40, has finally got his marijuana back after it was confiscated late last year by over-zealous Norwegian customs officials who refused to believe he had been prescribed the drug.

Pot smoker gets his confiscated drugs back
Photo: Sara Johannessen (File)

“I’m happy to finally be able to taste my medicine,” said Berg.

Before travelling to the Netherlands last year, Berg informed the customs authorities that he would be returning to Norway with 30 grams of marijuana.

According to the Norwegian Medicines Agency (Legemiddelverket), the would-be weed smoker did nothing wrong when he made his way home armed with six small yellow plastic boxes filled with medical marijuana.

“If a person has legally been prescribed with a medicine in the Schengen area, and has had the prescription filled by an authorized chemist, then that person is free to bring it into Norway,” Martin Bjerke at the Medicines Agency told newspaper Dagbladet.

Berg suffers from ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder, diagnoses that both qualified him for the Dutch prescription. Since Marijuana can function as a pain killer and can also have a calming effect, Berg prefers it to Ritalin, a psychostimulant drug often used in the treatment of ADHD.

“I remember well the first time I tried smoking. It felt like I achieved total calmness in my head. All the pains in my back and neck subsided and I slept really well. It was liberating,” said Berg.

The customs authorities said they did not wish to comment on the specifics of the case, which formed the subject of a six-month long police investigation.  

“We can certainly say that is was an unusual situation having to give back the marijuana,” said police inspector Mona Hertzenberg.

"We were surprised that the rules are the way they are, but we can’t intervene unless something is forbidden.”

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Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.