What happens to the seized material?

The police may only seize


If the police find material that they consider illegal, then the police may confiscate such items (hashish, weed, joints, pipes, mixing bowls, hemp plants, etc.). That is, they take these items, label them with a number and store them. Whether they are really illegal or whether they are legal (and have to be returned) is not for the police to decide. They may only seize such material.

A court must decide

Only the next instance may then decide whether these materials are legal or illegal. In larger cases this is a court, in smaller ones (for example a joint and a Rauchi) it is usually the police judge who decides on the future of these things. The police judge can also be called municipal judge, governor, single judge or examining magistrate (this is very different in Switzerland). If he decides that what has been found is legal, he orders that it be returned. If he decides that the things are illegal, he definitely confiscates them and orders the officials to destroy the material.

Off to the incinerator

The police carries out this mission by transporting at (secret) times all the found hash and the confiscated weed, the seized paraphernalia and uprooted hemp plants to the incinerator. However, a small part is also used for the training of policemen and policewomen. And also the police dogs, which are trained as drug sniffing dogs, of course need test material. (Continues below.)

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Occasionally, something is also stolen...

Especially in the case of larger seizures, it can happen that the police have to set up large premises to accommodate all the weed or the many hemp plants. This is because these materials have to be kept until the verdict is final (this is why the authorities would like to achieve in the future that a judge can order a destruction even before the final verdict).

In October 2003, the police in Ticino stored hundreds of kilograms of weed in a former ammunition depot. This was then robbed, which caused some ridicule among the population: the thieves had to break open five armored doors. However, the police were able to recover the weed and arrest the thieves. But the question naturally arises as to whether police officials had not given the thieves a hint.

...or consumed!

By the way, if a policeman simply takes away someone's weed or hash-piecli without doing a report, you can be pretty sure that the policeman will smoke it himself or resell it. This is criminal behavior on the part of the police officer, but since there is no evidence, there is nothing that can be done. If a cop doesn't want to do report (because he has better things to do than chase down the stoners) and still wants to act clean, he has to demand that the weed or hash be thrown down a storm drain. Then no one will be able to stiff it anymore.

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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Legal overview

Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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