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Switzerland Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

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marijuana switzerland possession cannabisBy Phillip Smith

As of this week, the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense in Switzerland. Instead, the Swiss have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of weed, replacing possible jail time and a criminal record with a maximum fine of $110. The new law went into effect Tuesday.

The change in the Swiss drug law brings the country in line with other European countries that have either formally or effectively decriminalized pot possession. It also brings uniformity within Switzerland, where previously, some cantons had turned a blind eye to marijuana offenses while others came down hard on offenders.

The change will also relieve pressure on Swiss police and courts. The country has dealt with 30,000 or so marijuana charges each year, a number that should decline dramatically under the new law.

Cultivation and distribution of marijuana remain criminal offenses, as does possession of more than 10 grams. The new law also increases penalties for sale to minors.

The country of some eight million people is thought to have up to 500,000 pot smokers.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.org - Creative Commons Licensing - Donate

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5 Comments

  1. Seed Stealth Grow on

    there are still europeans countries that you could go to jail for 3-4 grams! thats insane! ofcourse we see that things change now… usa and europe change their laws…but it should happen faster… thank you for sharing… http://stealthgrowbox.co.uk

  2. Ten grams is not very much. Do they put a limit on how much alcohol you can buy? I don’t think so. What’s the difference between driving around with a six-pack of beer, a case of wine, or an oz? Could be going to a party or just stocking up for next week… And do the Swiss cops drive around with a scale?

  3. Cultivation is prohibited in Switzerland, but widespread. Generally it is a risk one can take (unlike in Germany and Austria where they are extremely harsh). It is thought that one in ten houses have a few plants in the basement (every Swiss house has a basement). There is not too much trade (though it is easy to get) but mostly shared between friends. I have my own 4 plants in the basement and two in the garden :).

    A few years ago a referendum to legalize lost 60/40, but today public opintion has shifted more. I think we’ll see a new referendum between now and 5 years, with good chances for full legalization.

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