Initiative proposal hemp legalization

You have to start somewhere. This proposal for an initiative text focuses on the legalization of personal contact for adults and excludes young people and the area of trafficking.

The initiative in wording

The Federal Constitution of 18 April 1999 is amended as follows (new Article 105a, 118c or 123d):

The consumption and possession of psychoactive substances of the cannabis plant, as well as their cultivation for personal use, is exempt from punishment after reaching the age of majority.



Cannabis as a stimulant and medicine has been an integral part of our society since time immemorial. The aim of the present initiative is to no longer legally prosecute adult consumers who use psychoactive substances of the cannabis plant in a responsible manner.

The aim of allowing cultivation for personal use is that these consumers no longer have to help themselves from the black market. People who already cultivate for their own use and thus actively counteract the black market are to be brought out of illegality.

Protection of minors

The handling of cannabis is to be reserved for adults only. This will not further restrict the strategy of youth protection that the federal government is currently pursuing. Adults who grant access to minors can still be punished.

Cultivation for personal use

Cannabis is an ancient cultivated plant that is relatively frugal and can be grown on any balcony. Many users and patients do this for their own consumption, mostly for the pleasure of gardening and with the certainty of not consuming any extender.

The aim is to bring people out of illegality who maintain a private responsible use and do not want to enter the illegality of the black market.

Those who manufacture cannabis for sale can be prosecuted as before. Thus, the authorities can focus on those who produce cannabis on a large scale and thus drive the black market.

Trade and sale The initiative intentionally excludes all regulation on trade and sale, as the regulation of this is to be left to the federal government. The goal of the initiative is to achieve a minimum level of decriminalization of cannabis use and to promote responsible consumption.

The demand has been formulated in such a way that the authorities can continue to perform their task in the field of prevention and protection of minors. In addition, it leaves them room to maneuver upwards. All over the world, different models of cannabis legalization are being tested, possibly one will also be applied in Switzerland with regard to trade and sale as soon as enough experience has been gained.

Health and medicine Health risks associated with cannabis use are moderate, especially in forms of use that do not involve combustion processes. Alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than occasional cannabis use.

Accordingly, the initiative serves to educate the public by highlighting the dangers of other substances and counteracting the stigmatization of cannabis users.

In contrast to other already legal substances, cannabis also offers broad therapeutic possibilities. In many countries, cannabis as medicine is successfully part of public health care. In Switzerland, even self-medication is punishable - even for patients who demonstrably have no other option. Whether and to what extent the market is opened by the authorities for medical purposes is left to the federal government.


Table 1: Current situation

Consumption Ownership Cultivation Disclosure Trade
Adults - - - - -
Minors - - - - -

Table 2: Situation if the initiative is accepted (and today's NarcA remains in force)

Consumption Ownership Cultivation Disclosure Trade
Adults + + + - -
Minors - - - - -

Questions and answers

How many plants are then considered own use?

Those who practice responsible consumption can manage with a few plants. For sick people who self-medicate, more plants may well be used. In general, however, it is the sale and trade that should be punished and not the suspected case.

Is the release of private cultivation not a free pass for its sale?

Cultivation itself involves personnel expenditure, and accordingly cultivation and sale is only profitable above a certain volume. Those who remain in the realm of personal consumption cannot cover these costs, the risk does not pay off. All others would continue to be penalized as long as parliament does not pass legislation on trade.

When can we smoke pot legally?

Anyone who has reached the age of 18 can grow and consume cannabis for personal use with this provision.

In the most restrictive form of the implementation of this initiative, this is the only way to legally consume cannabis.

Minors who cultivate, procure or somehow accept cannabis are still liable to prosecution. At least as long as the current NarcA is still in effect. The parliament can of course introduce a different protection of minors than the complete criminalization.

Will legalization lead to more drug addiction?

The addictive potential of cannabis is lower than that of tobacco or alcohol. However, addiction in and of itself is usually not directly linked to a substance, but rather depends more on circumstances. If the availability of a substance falls away, it is compensated for with another (addictive behavior).


Markus has proposed this initiative text and written the argumentation for it. Whoever would like to discuss it with him or help with the implementation is welcome to exchange ideas with him.

At the last members' meetings, we have talked about this topic and possible implementation options. Depending on the response, we can imagine continuing this in 2016.

Legalization Strategies

How could legalization become a reality? Ultimately, the current NarcA has to be changed and a new hemp law has to be passed by the parliament.


The first option: wait until the mood of the population has changed, the politicians notice this and change the law. Advantage: You don't have to do anything except wait. Disadvantage: It can take a very long time.


A popular initiative can force a constitutional amendment. But someone has to want to collect them, be able to certify them, and then win a referendum campaign. Advantage: If it works, you really get closer to legalization. Disadvantage: It means a lot of work for many people over many years, success remains uncertain.


Professional lobbying can lead to change: Editing parliament, media relations on all channels, campaigns with striking images, lively rallies, viral videos. That takes a lot of paid professionals swirling around in public. Advantage: That's how it usually works. Disadvantage: It takes enormous amounts of money.


Personal stories, told in public, can have a great impact. It's emotional, concrete, understandable. This approach thrives on the fact that many do it, do it every day, on all channels. Advantage: It doesn't need money and can lead to changes very quickly, because the absurdity of the illegality becomes directly obvious. Disadvantage: It needs civil courage from many. The first ones to come out in this way must expect to be fully caught up in the repression.

Initiative collection idea

Collecting signatures is a tough job that even large organizations can't always manage.

Nino has thought about how this work could be done differently than before (stand actions, collecting on the street, distributing flyers). The idea: Before collecting signatures in practice, try to record interested people in a database through an online form, so that you can write to them later as potential collectors and supporters. This would simplify the planning considerably, because one would know that a) the 100,000 signatures can really be reached within a useful period of time and b) the collectors would not have to search for the signatures on the off chance, but could target the registered persons in the database. In addition, this collection campaign could provide an initial spark which, in the best case, would send a majority, but realistically probably a motivated minority, into a collective frenzy of joy.

Nino is working on developing this idea further and is looking forward to feedback.

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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