The elections in October 2019: New majority in parliament?

Let's go to the polls!

On October 20, 2019, the next elections for our federal parliament will take place. The 200 seats in the National Council and the 46 seats in the Council of States must be filled. These 246 people will deliberate and pass laws for four years starting in December.

Larger seat shift necessary

Over the past 20 years, we have seen time and again that the National Council in particular did not want to see any change in cannabis prohibition. It was the Council that stuck in 2004, that only narrowly approved the bill on fixed penalties, and that has now once again said “no” and “yes” to the pilot projects.

For a different policy to really become possible there, a major shift in seats would be needed. To achieve this, 10 to 20 seats would have to move away from the CVP and SVP - to the BDP, the GLP, the SP and the Greens. Otherwise, the majority situation on the hemp issue will remain as it has been in recent years. Those who want to vote FDP should look carefully: This party is (the only one) split on the hemp issue.

How to choose?

It makes no sense to draw up a list of eligible politicians for the whole of Switzerland, because elections are held in the cantons. Each canton has a certain number of seats in the National Council and conducts the elections for them. Zurich has 35 seats, Uri one. Whoever votes can only choose from the candidates or lists from his/her canton.

On you can see which candidates and which lists are ready for a new approach to hemp. The specific question under “Society and ethics” (number 4.1 in the short questionnaire and 5.1 in the long questionnaire) is a bit short: “Should the use of cannabis be legalized?” But this question with the answers to it (yes, rather yes, rather no, no) at least gives a good indication of who is open for improvements.

Lists or candidates

For the National Council elections, lists or candidates can be displayed. If you want to make it easy, select the lists here and find one that fits. If you prefer to list individual candidates, you can select the list by candidate and thus compile a list freely. In the case of the Council of States (only two seats per canton), it is mostly personal elections without lists (with exceptions).

Beware of fringe groups: The election chances of previous and known lists are of course much higher than those of new and unknown ones.

Please select

Every vote is needed so that a shift from the hemp prohibitionists to those who want to establish a sensible approach to hemp succeeds. The necessary shift of 10 to 20 seats is already a big change by Swiss standards. But if this is not successful, there will be hardly any progress in hemp policy in the next four years.

The four areas of current Swiss hemp policy

There are four thematic areas in Swiss hemp policy. In this article and on the following two pages we summarize the developments of the last months.

Cannabis pilot testing

The deliberations on cannabis pilot testing are turning more and more into an absurd story. It has already been talked about for 15 years. Now the Federal Council has finally initiated the necessary amendment to NarcA- and what is the responsible Committee for Social Security and Health of the National Council (SGK-N) doing?

Contrary to the Federal Council's plans, the commission wants to “ensure that employers and schools, respectively, are informed about the participation of cannabis users in a study.” So says its media release of July 5, 2019.

We had already pointed out in LI84 the strange formulations in the documents of the Federal Council: Control, promotion of abstinence, etc. But what the Commission additionally demands is probably the death blow for these experiments. Who still wants to and can participate under these circumstances? (A minority of the commission would even like to make it compulsory for participants to hand in their driver's license…). All this is quite absurd.

But it gets even worse: Somehow they came to talk about the protection of minors (although the circle of participants is explicitly limited to adults) and asked the administration to write a report about it. Until then, they do not consult the bill ready. Thus, the parliamentary process simply does not go on. In this way, a bill can be delayed further and further without directly rejecting it, or it can be led ad absurdum.

⇒ Details on, 19.021

Hemp out of the NarcA

A separate hemp law has been demanded in parliament on several occasions, so far without success. The following issues are currently pending:

⇒ Heinz Siegenthaler (BDP): “Equal treatment of cannabis and high-proof alcohol”, 18.3150

⇒ Beat Flach (GLP): “Legalize cannabis and generate tax substrate for AHV/IV”, 18.4009

Both proposals are “ready for discussion” in the National Council for the fall 2019 session.

Unfortunately, there was no new information on the subject of popular initiative at the time of going to press.

Facilitation for medical hemp

The SGK-N motion “Ärztliche Abgabe von Cannabis als Medikament an Chronischkranke. Lower healthcare costs and less bureaucracy” (⇒ 18.3389) had already been adopted by the National Council in 2018; it could now be dealt with in the Council of States in the autumn session of 2019.

In parallel, the Federal Council has launched the consultation for an easier handling of hemp as medicine. This article sheds light on this proposed revision of the Narcotics Law (NarcA).

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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Legal overview

Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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