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Norwegian MP grilled by police on drugs use

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Norwegian MP grilled by police on drugs use
The Storting, Norway's Parliament - Photo: Axel Kuhlmann/Flickr
17:10 CET+01:00
The deputy of Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has been admitted to using cannabis on at least one occasion,after being questioned by police following a drugs raid on several schools in the city of Bergen.
Erik Skutle, 24, who is representing Solberg's Bergen constituency while she serves as Prime Minister, was one of three men brought in by police on Thursday following the bust. 
 
Skutle "admitted during a police interview to have consumed hash on one occasion", Trond Helleland, head of the Hoyre party's parliamentary group, told reporters.
   
The 24-year-old politician was questioned as part of a larger narcotics investigation but has not been charged.
   
Norway's right-wing coalition has a "zero tolerance" policy towards the consumption and possession of drugs.
   
However on Wednesday -- following a police drugs raid on a number of schools -- Skutle spoke out against the policy, telling the newspaper Verdens Gang that he believed cannabis should be sold in pharmacies and state-owned off-licenses.
   
"I'm not saying that drugs are completely safe. Of course ... they are harmful. Nobody doubts that," he said. "But I think we have a better chance of controlling and reducing
consumption if we sell them over the counter, rather than having a total ban."
   
Party spokesman Trond Helleland would not comment on Skutle's future in the party until more information was available.
 
Earlier police lawyer Marita Weimar told Norway's NRK channel that the three men were also suspected of cocaine use.
 
"All have been charged with possession and use of drugs. It's marijuana, and in addition to the other stuff, they also suspected to have used harder substances like cocaine," she said.
 
More than 40 students were arrested in the police raid on seven Bergen schools last Friday.
 
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