Government moves forward with legalising cannabis in Switzerland

Government moves forward with legalising cannabis in Switzerland

Cannabis is due to be legalised in Switzerland, after the Social Security and Health Commissions (SSHC) voted in favour of the move. The aim of the legalisation of marijuana is to regulate the market and provide greater consumer protection.

Cannabis has been illegal in Switzerland since 1951

The new law specifically calls for the “cultivation, production, trade and consumption of cannabis” to be controlled in the same way as medication from pharmacies and tobacco. Cannabis has been banned in Switzerland since 1951, and possession of cannabis was made a criminal offence in 1975. In more recent years, the possession of small amounts of cannabis, especially in Swiss cities, has started to be decriminalised along with the widespread sale of CBD oil and cannabis flavoured ice tea. 

The Federal Council estimated over 300.000 people in Switzerland use the substance regularly, with the number increasing year on year. The government said the current Narcotics Act is failing to protect families from cannabis, and that the black market is “flourishing.”

Legalisation of marijuana to face Swiss referendum

In a statement, the SSHC said that to ensure consumer protection and quality control, legal regulation was needed. They highlighted the fact that cannabis would be subject to Swiss taxes, and that all the money raised would be invested into education about drugs in the Swiss school system.

The vote passed the upper and lower houses of the SSHC, but the commission clarified that the new law will take a long time to draft. The law is due to be submitted for a vote in the National Council once it is ready, with experts predicting that the matter will inevitably go to a public referendum.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

Read more



Leave a comment