A Recreational Marijuana Program is Underway in Switzerland

by Shanti
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The Swiss pilot program will allow adult-use marijuana in a controlled setting. The measure is going to make marijuana legal in Switzerland. Details on the experiment are now available.

Initial planning for the Swiss pilot program began a little over one year ago. The Swiss pilot will test the socio-economic impact of recreational marijuana in Switzerland. Through the pilot schemes a limited number of Swiss will be able to use recreational marijuana.

The Parliament gave the ok for the Swiss pilot programs in September 2020. It was an initial showing of support for recreational marijuana. 

If successful Switzerland will be the second EU member state with adult-use marijuana. The Netherlands is the first.

Is Marijuana Legal in Switzerland?

The Swiss are no strangers to marijuana. They’ve tolerated it for decades. The Swiss pilot program is not the first attempt to make marijuana legal in Switzerland. 

Decades ago, in the 1990s, a small ommission of law made marijuana access possible. Shopkeepers sold marijuana from small shops under the guise of  aroma-therapeutics.

Hash and other derivatives were also sold under the same name. THC content contained in these aroma-therapeutics didn’t matter. 

At first, only Swiss purchased marijuana. This caused little disruption to the community. But recreational marijuana in the 1990s could never be a secret for long. More people began to flock into the country.

By the early 2000s France and Germany, demanded the Swiss tighten up marijuana policy. Switzerland’s neighbors didn’t approve. The Swiss had a fondness for their cannabis cafes.

The Swiss Federal Council searched for a suitable alternative. It seemed to be an attempt to keep marijuana while pleasing neighbors and the United Nations. No such compromise could be reached.

In 2001, the United Nations gave the Swiss an ultimatum. . . marijuana or join the UN. The Swiss chose the United Nations.

Almost two decades later the world is a different place. Cannabis is no longer on the UN’s list of most dangerous drugs. Germany’s medical marijuana program is thriving. And France has begun its own marijuana experiment. 

In 2012, the country decriminalized small amounts of marijuana.Yet marijuana is not legal in Switzerland. Getting caught smoking or consuming pot in public carries a small fine of 100 francs.

Still, the government estimates there are between 200,000 and 300,000 regular marijuana consumers in Switzerland today. 

Pilot programs will provide the legal marijuana they want.

Regulation of Pilot Schemes

The pilot schemes are the Swiss government’s chance to collect data on the impact of adult-use marijuana. Collecting data will help researchers determine the socio-economic impact of adult-use marijuana.

Regulations for pilot schemes reflect the need to collect this data. They also spell out standards the Swiss would like to set for their pot. These standards include a THC limit of 20% and organic cultivation. Tinctures, extracts, isolates are all included in the pilot program regulations. To see an entire list of regulations click here for the link to download. 

It sounds like great Swiss marijuana.

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