Overview of the political projects

Slowly, there seems to be some movement on the hemp issue. In Switzerland, various initiatives are pending, and in the USA and the Czech Republic, even major breakthroughs have been achieved. Much is still in flux and not entirely clear, but there is reason for hope.

Is there something going on again?

In Switzerland, a quiet year lies behind us in terms of hemp policy. After the acceptance of the partial revision of NarcA and the rejection of the hemp initiative at the end of 2008, there was not much more going on in public regarding THC. But in the background three projects are progressing. Internationally, progress has been more spectacular: in the USA, medical marijuana is sprouting in many places, and in the Czech Republic, fifteen grams of weed became legal on January 1, 2010. And exciting developments are also taking place in Mexico and Argentina.

Level 1: NarcA-partial-revision (05.470)

We have presented the contents of the partial revision in Legalize it! 46 (Winter 2008/2009, pages 2 to 4; we will gladly send you a copy). You can also find this information in this wiki: Enter 'li460204' in the search function to get to the article. As of 1.1.2010, two small articles of this partial revision were put into force (articles 3e and 3f). Small, but with effect: Thanks to these two articles, heroin prescription can now definitely continue indefinitely. Without this early entry into force, heroin prescription would have had to be terminated at the end of 2009. The other amended provisions are therefore not yet in force, and thus the old NarcA continues to apply in these respects. When the other articles will enter into force is still unclear, perhaps in mid-2010, perhaps not until early 2011. Nevertheless, we recommend to look at this partial revision already now, because it will definitely come. Only the timing is still open.

Level 2: Fixed penalty principle (04.439)

As a follow-up to the partial revision of NarcA (which largely excluded the THC issue), the second part of this partial revision bumbled along. Here, a solution for the cannabis problem was to be found. Still on the Sunday of the vote of 30.11.2008, the teachers' association, Pro Juventute and AG Jugendverbände launched an appeal to develop a nationwide model for fixed penalties. Such a model already exists in St. Gallen (normally 50 francs fine without police registration, for up to five grams of cannabis). The CVP had also brought such a model into play. In March 2009, the National Council commission joined these ideas, officially supported a corresponding parliamentary initiative and asked its sister commission from the Council of States for permission to think about this further. In November 2009, the commission of the Council of States could not yet bring itself to give such permission. But in January 2010, the time had come: with the blessing of the Council of States Commission (eight votes in favor, two abstentions; i.e. a very clear result), the National Council Commission can now begin to work out the details of this bill. And now comes the crucial part: How high should the fixed penalty be? How many grams should be the maximum limit? Can cantons keep more liberal regulations (for example warning instead of a fixed penalty)? These “details” will decide whether there will be a lightening of the workload only for the police forces, or whether THC-users can also benefit a little. The date for further deliberations in the National Council Commission is still open. Possible dates would be 22.3., 26.4., 21.6., 30.8., 11.10. or 1.11.2010.

Level 3: Prelicz-Huber parliamentary initiative (09.488)

National Councilor Katharina Prelicz-Huber, together with several dozen co-signers, is calling for an amendment to the Narcotics Law by means of a parliamentary initiative. In it, she demands: “The Narcotics Act is to be amended in such a way that it exempts from punishment anyone who a. consumes psychoactive substances of the hemp plant; b. Possesses or acquires hemp plants for personal use. In addition, it is to be ensured that regulations are issued on the cultivation, production, import and export of as well as on the trade in psychoactive substances of the hemp plant. Appropriate consideration must be given to the protection of minors.” Roughly speaking, this proposal contains the essential elements from the hemp initiative. However, this proposal would aim at a change in the law, whereas the hemp initiative, as popular initiative, would have meant a change in the constitution. The signatories are mainly from the left-green camp, although there are a few bourgeois supporters. Thus, it is unlikely that this parliamentary initiative will be approved. Unless our parliament looks out into the world and is inspired by the USA, Mexico and the Czech Republic, where some steps towards legalization have been taken. But in the end, there will be no legalization or extensive decriminalization in Switzerland as long as the FDP is divided on this issue and the CVP is by a large majority in favor of keeping the punishment. Thus, the fixed penalty model is the only proposal that has a real chance of realization.

And then: Swiss smoking ban from 1.5.2010

Now even the last few remaining stoner bars will have to ban smoking. Will the THC-users just accept all this? Will special smoking clubs now be formed? Or will vaporization prevail? Will the retreat into the private sphere continue? And what will the neighbors think? Well, excitement is guaranteed! In any case, we still offer our vaporizer consultations.

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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Legal overview

Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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