What are the things that come to mind when you think of Switzerland? There’s chocolates, army knives, watches, the Alps, world-class skiing, chalets, and high security banks.
Soon, you may have to add cannabis to the list. Perhaps just like the Netherlands.
This is because the Swiss government said it wants to do more research into medical cannabis and make marijuana treatments more available.
Mind you, cannabis is still illegal in Switzerland. However, the possession of small amounts of weed for recreational use has been decriminalized in 2012, with offenders only required to pay a fine.
To be more specific, cannabis products that contain more than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is classified as illegal. In fact, Switzerland is the only country that has decriminalized cannabis with the highest allowed THC limit. Most other countries in Europe have set their legal THC limit at 0.2%.
The Swiss Federal Health Office is now supporting easier access to medical cannabis. And as a bonus, the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, which is usually an advocate of total abstinence from the drug, seems to support medical cannabis in making the life of patients easier.
The government is planning for larger studies regarding the health benefits of the drug. Plus, the legalization of recreational cannabis is also back on the agenda.
It can be recalled that the Swiss National Council has recently rejected a bill that allows the use of cannabis in academic studies that look into the drug and its effects. This is after the Swiss Council of States, which is the country’s smaller chamber of parliament unanimously approved the bill.
The National Council rejected the bill by a slim margin, with the centrist Christian Democrats and the conservative right Swiss People’s Party voting en masse to vote against the legislation. They saw the proposal as an implicit route that leads to fully legalizing the drug.
Now, it looks like the government is changing its tune.
However, growers with a special permit from the Health Office, are still not letting their guards down and are not entirely optimistic.