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Ending the War on Drugs

I’m only just about half way through "Finding My Virginity" where Sir Richard Branson “shares his personal, intimate thoughts on five decades as the world’s ultimate entrepreneur”. I can feel my laughter, seriousness, inspiration and sparks of hope increase for every page I turn.

I am lucky and extremely humble, honoured and privileged that I have on a number of occasions been given an opportunity to spend several days in magical Ulusaba in South Africa together with my friend Sir Richard Branson.

Sir Richard Branson & Eirik Moseng at Sir Richard Branson's Private Game Reserve in Ulusaba, South Africa

Sir Richard is a genuine, open minded, intelligent and humble person who cares just as much about you as an individual or as a collective group. Giving a lot of himself and always listening and engaging in any conversation.

I’ve lost my two brothers to drug overdose. This can sometimes be very hard to talk about, there is still a lot of stigma around drugs and drug addicts. I am incredible grateful that I had the opportunity to have great, insightful and inspirational conversations with Sir Richard Branson regarding this, and the work he does through the Global Drug Commission. While I have always been a rather open person, Sir Richard has inspired me to be even more open regarding this.

The War on Drugs needs to end and the current drug policies need to change. Jailing people because of drug use or possession make things worse not better. Jail does not incur any form for rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation facilities are just the initial stage of treatment for drug abusers and jail does not align with the necessary treatment at this stage. These rehabilitation facilities start with detoxification and medically managed withdrawal. But that alone does not address the psychological, social and behavioral problems associated with addiction and therefore, do not typically produce lasting behavioral changes necessary for recovery.

I am proud of Norway (and other countries such as Portugal) challinging the status quo and executing a drug reform. On 13th of December 2017, Norway chose to decriminalise drug possession and use. You can read Sir Richard Branson's blog about it here.

I believe world leaders have a lot to learn from Sir Richard. To quote Sir Richard from his book (answering the call from Madiba): “Yes, Madiba. You know I’m happy to help”. I wish our world leaders could be far more inspired by this charismatic man himself.


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