Repression 2022: The new conviction figures

Repression is on the decline: numbers have dropped by half since the highs. Have public prosecutors and police forces given up on hempprosecution? Not completely, but the intensity has greatly diminished.

Truly remarkable

No, it wasn't the pandemic and being less outside: that had been a thesis for the decline in 2020/21, especially for the misdemeanors. Because even in 2022, when everyone was out and about again, the numbers continued to decline. The prosecution seems to be pulling up stakes. The decay in the number of referrals for both the contraventions and the misdemeanors is remarkable. Is it the realization of the futility of what they were doing? Or was it rather the two Federal Court rulings on the impunity of unpunished minor quantities that have caused the zeal of many police forces and public prosecutors to wane?

The beginning of the end?

Usually, repressive authorities stop prosecuting an illegal activity before society decides on a legal relief (e.g. prohibition of concubinage), because it simply becomes embarrassing and a change is foreseeable. This could now be interpreted as a good sign for the future. Because the decrease in numbers is really massive and we are very pleased!

The Federal Statistical Office, which compiles the figures we use here every year, no longer felt like asking the cantons for the number fixed penalties (OB) for 2022. Therefore, we do not know how many OB there were in 2022. However, there will hardly have been many more.

Over 20,000 criminal cases per year!

Despite the decline, there are still tens of thousands of convictions per year. The old, sharp NarcA still applies. Anyone who falls into the clutches of criminal prosecution must expect the same experiences and penalties as in the past.

The prosecution of hemp-contraventions 2009-2022

Contraventions represent the lower level of illegality. This involves the consumption of cannabis and the preparatory acts required for this (purchase, possession, cultivation, import, etc.). Contraventions are punished either with fixed penalties or with a fine and fees.

The prosecution of hemp-misdemeanors 2009-2022

Misdemeanors represent the higher level of illegality. This involves giving away or selling cannabis, i.e. passing it on. Misdemeanors are punishable by a fine, fees, monetary penalty in daily rates or, in serious cases, imprisonment (conditional or unconditional).

Repression 2022: Confiscated material

Above, we looked at the decreasing number of prosecutions (contraventions and misdemeanors). Now let's take a closer look at the number of people prosecuted for hashish and weed and the amount of material confiscated.

Repression on the retreat...

The number of prosecutions has fallen significantly, as we have seen above. The number of people reported has also fallen, as we show below. However, the number of seizures has reached new heights (table below). Over five tons of hash (if we include the oil) - almost twice as much as in 2021! That's even more than weed, even if we include the dried flowers (like so many things in the narcotics statistics, the list is not exactly a brilliant achievement, but unfortunately there are no better figures). This drifting apart of fewer people being reported and more material being confiscated is remarkable.

...but not at the end yet!

In any case, confiscations and prosecutions will continue. The hemp prosecution is not yet over. In 2022, a five-digit number of people were still being harassed by the police and tons of hemp were confiscated. There are no statistics on hemp-related driving license confiscations. This additional problem must not be forgotten.


Proportion of those reported by age group 2009-2022

This is one of the more specific developments in the repression figures: Since 2018, younger people have made up an ever-increasing proportion of those charged with hashish offenses. On the other hand, their share of weed offenders has been falling steadily. These two charts show the relative figures.

Repression 2009 to 2022: Hash and weed (contraventions)

What substance are people prosecuted for? Most of those reported are prosecuted for weed use. But the proportion of people criminalized for hashish has been rising for years. Unfortunately, the number of fixed penalties has no longer been recorded since 2022.

Repression 2009 to 2022: Hash and weed (misdemeanor)

We also see that most of the prosecutions for misdemeanors (distribution and trafficking) are for weed. However, the figures for hashish remain constant, while the weed figures are plummeting. This means that the proportion of hash has risen to 30% in 2022!

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

Share page: facebook X (Twitter)

Legal overview

Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

This overview as PDF