Switzerland's Marijuana Policy May Be the Best One Yet


Marijuana legislation moved forward once more when, as of Oct. 1, Switzerland decriminalized the possession of marijuana. Though the restrictions on the drug still remain harsh, this progressive movement will not only ease the burden on the thinly-spread legal systems, but will also create a safer and more accessible environment for people who use marijuana.

With the new law, those over 18 found to have less than 10 grams of marijuana are relieved of the previously mandated court appearances, and most critically, will not have their offenses added to their permanent record. Those caught, however, will still need to pay a penalty fine of 100 Swiss francs, the equivalent of about $110 dollars.

Much like current U.S. policy, Swiss marijuana regulation had been scattered across the map, pieced together with confusing policies and contradicting laws. The new and more tolerant regulations are intended to unify the fragmented perception of the drug culture.

The measure is expected to reduce the 30,000 marijuana-related cases per year that the courts have had to handle, thus freeing up valuable police resources for more serious incidents. The law provides educational resources for children with severe marijuana habits as well as well as looks to increase restrictions on those selling to minors.

It is important to note, however, that "decriminalized" is not the same as "legal." Marijuana farming, growth, smoking or dealing in any manner is still strictly illegal.

With the second highest rate of children using marijuana (second only to Canada), the Swiss government is hoping to find that their lengthy process of debate in Parliament will culminate in accurate and effective legislation. 

Follow @policymic

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Alexandra Cardinale

Alexandra Cardinale curious, quirky, and vivacious student currently researching Communications, Business and Law at New York University. Her extensive study in 16 countries have given her a unique perspective on both domestic U.S. policy and current international policy outside. She works to apply this inquisitive point of view to her writings here at PolicyMic and to any and all of her political discussions.

MORE FROM

The 5 major people Donald Trump fired since taking office

Reince Priebus is just the latest high-profile person to be fired by Trump.

How brands battle for creativity and authenticity

In the age of call-out culture and brand boycotts, how can brands get it right the first time?

While You Weren’t Looking: 5 stories free from “skinny repeals” and the Mooch’s “colorful language”

Five stories you may have missed while trying to keep up with a chaotic news week.

In the shadow of Brooklyn’s luxury apartments, “canners” form a tight-knit community

For many lower income people in New York City, canning can be a safe and legal way to earn a living.

A Steve Bannon propagandist is turning the alt-right’s antihero Based Stick Man into a comic book

"We’re never going to change the culture from Washington. We’re going to do it from comics, from movies.”

NBC News chief wanted to dial back MSNBC's liberal identity. Then Trump got elected.

Some insiders say MSNBC is having an identity crisis — but the channel is having its best ratings year ever.

The 5 major people Donald Trump fired since taking office

Reince Priebus is just the latest high-profile person to be fired by Trump.

How brands battle for creativity and authenticity

In the age of call-out culture and brand boycotts, how can brands get it right the first time?

While You Weren’t Looking: 5 stories free from “skinny repeals” and the Mooch’s “colorful language”

Five stories you may have missed while trying to keep up with a chaotic news week.

In the shadow of Brooklyn’s luxury apartments, “canners” form a tight-knit community

For many lower income people in New York City, canning can be a safe and legal way to earn a living.

A Steve Bannon propagandist is turning the alt-right’s antihero Based Stick Man into a comic book

"We’re never going to change the culture from Washington. We’re going to do it from comics, from movies.”

NBC News chief wanted to dial back MSNBC's liberal identity. Then Trump got elected.

Some insiders say MSNBC is having an identity crisis — but the channel is having its best ratings year ever.