prosecution from hemp seeds - the second big push

The hemp seed prosecution seemed to have run its course, but it is experiencing a revival: after two quieter years, there were over 2,000 cases again in 2018. The ordering parties think nothing of it, but customs still confiscate a great many shipments.

hemp seeds-defendants by type of report

Now let's take a look at a special subchapter of hemp prosecution: the hemp seed prosecution. In the past, this was a category among the far-flung. But from 2015 at the latest, it became an important category. And not primarily at the contraventions, no: Customs reports the import of some hemp seeds mostly as misdemeanor! Thus, the share of hemp seeds defendants in misdemeanor has increased enormously. While they were below 1 % from 2009 to 2012, they increased to 3.8 and 7.2 % in the two following years. Then in 2015 the explosion: 28.4 % of all those accused of cannabismisdemeanor were now hemp seed cases. Then again a decline to 4.1 and 7.3 %, before now reaching 16.1 % again in 2018 (for general info on the misdemeanor see LI84, page 9).

In our chart on the left, we have listed all defendants charged with hemp seeds. Both those accused of contraventions (light red bars) and those accused of misdemeanor (purple bars). So the majority of hemp seed cases are prosecuted as misdemeanor.

Our website on the hemp seed prosecution is still growing: New information and summary penalty orders are added continuously.

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hemp seeds-defendants by age group

The graph on the right shows the distribution of hemp seeds defendants by age. We see, especially in comparison to the charts in LI84, that the older ones are represented here much more frequently than in the other referrals:

In 2018, those over 40 accounted for 32% of defendants, compared to only 15% for all misdemeanor cases, and 10% for contraventions.

This is also consistent with my experience since 2015: there was a different layer of cannabis users coming to seek advice. These were “stoners” you hardly ever saw otherwise: small amounts, own house, upper middle class, good tax payers.

Some of them had been ordering a few hemp seeds every few years for a long time without any problems, growing it on their property and consuming it without anyone noticing.

But when in 2015 the customs arrested almost 5,000 people, many of them from the middle class had a criminal case on their hands - and this mostly because of suspicion of a misdemeanor, i.e. the higher level of illegality.

In 2018, we were again at over 2,000 hemp seed cases. In 2019, there will probably also be many cases, because the inquiries on the subject were again very frequent this spring and summer: I could hardly believe it.

Hemp seed orders are really very risky!

Source of all figures

Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO), Police Crime Statistics, Annual Reports 2009 to 2018. Graphical representation by us. We have listed problems with the statistics in our source reference in LI84.

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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Legal overview

Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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