An important Swiss health commission says that cannabis should be decriminalized and regulate the herb market in the country
Indeed, a health commission ruled in favor of changing the country’s drug laws to decriminalize marijuana use and regulate the market for the substance in Switzerland.
The recommendations of this commission have been included in the Cannabis Update 2019, produced by the Swiss National Commission for Addiction Issues, an independent advisory body composed of experts whose mission is to inform the government.
The commission concludes that prohibition is a major failure and that rates of cannabis use remain stable in Switzerland despite laws that seek to reduce cannabis use.
The government estimates that approximately 200,000 people regularly use cannabis in Switzerland. On the other hand, the prohibition of marijuana has generated a criminal black market. On the other hand, the prohibition implies that there are no guarantees of quality or safety in cannabis that is sold in the streets illegally.
The report, which analyzes the latest research on the impact of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on health, concludes that the decriminalization of cannabis use and market regulation is fundamental to protect the health of the Swiss population, and especially young people. .
The report submitted by the addictions commission is very negative regarding the current legislation on cannabis in Switzerland.
The consumption of cannabis containing up to 1% THC is legal, unlike the limit established in many countries where it is illegal to pass 0.2% or 0.3% THC. Any type of cannabis with more THC is illegal. However, since 2013, adults caught in possession of ten grams or less of cannabis is punished with a $ 98 fine, but at least they do not have to face criminal proceedings.
The health commission reports that cannabis laws are applied very strictly in some cantons, while in others the application of the law is almost non-existent.
On the other hand, the laws are unclear and sometimes absurd situations occur. Indeed, sometimes the mere possession of 10 grams of cannabis goes unpunished while at other times some people have been fined for a simple joint.
Concerned about the real situation regarding cannabis use, the Swiss government has given its support to scientific trials that analyze the impact of cannabis use on public health and safety, while the country is studying the best way to regulate the use of cannabis in the future.
The government plans a study according to which thousands of people could “legally” receive a small amount of cannabis each month while participating in trials.
However, the government insists that such experiments should be controlled very strictly. All participants should be over 18 years of age and should already be cannabis users. They are also required to be residents of the municipality where the investigation is being carried out.
All participants in the trial would be given a”cannabis identification” and, of course, would be strictly prohibited from giving away marijuana or reselling it.
The number of people in any individual study would be limited to 5000, while the maximum duration of the study would be five years.
Numerous Swiss cities and institutions have already expressed interest in carrying out such trials, but the Swiss parliament, whose political orientation is very conservative, must give the plans a green light before they can move forward.
In Switzerland there has already been a previous attempt to carry out these tests but it failed because many legislators feared that it could be a first step towards legalization.
However, the government is aware that with more than 200,000 Swiss who regularly consume cannabis, alternative ways of regulating its use should be urgently studied.
The current laws have generated a black market that is dangerous. Meanwhile, the legal costs associated with prohibiting marijuana are too high.
The question now is to mark the beginning of a ten-year research period with several studies. After the end of that ten-year term, the government will evaluate the results of those studies and consider the next step to take.