Swedish Town Mulls "Glass Zone" for Addicts

By McCarton Ackerman 06/20/13

Politicians propose a glass-encased area for the "down and out" to socialize, without disturbing the town.

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Prison? or palace? Photo via

Addicts in the Swedish town of Falköping could soon be relegated to a human fishbowl—or awarded with a glass palace—depending on how you look at it. Two local Moderate Party politicians put forth the motion this week to give alcoholics and drug-addicts a glass-encased zone in the middle of the town's central square, arguing it would lessen public disturbances and allow the "down and out" to socialize. Moderate Håkan Andersson, head of the municipal opposition, said that police and security guards have been dealing with a particularly difficult group of 10-15 addicts who keep loitering outside of the GP's office and a central home for the elderly. "You know what it's like, the down-and-out can get quite rambunctious, they make a lot of noise, so people make detours to avoid them," said Andersson. Moderate Party politician Christina Jorméus, who sent in the proposal, said she imagines the space as being similar to a bus shelter that would allow addicts to congregate and not feel isolated from the rest of the community. However, Falköping's Social Democratic local government commissioner Conny Johansson opposed the idea and compared it "an updated version of a leper colony."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.