Just Say Yes

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. By Helena Bachmann Geneva
    Source: Time Magazine

    Switzerland may no longer be known just as the land of chocolate and cheese; marijuana could soon become as much a part of the Alpine landscape as edelweiss.
    Last week the Swiss government approved a law, still to be endorsed by the Parliament, that legalizes the production, sale and use of marijuana, making Switzerland's policy toward the drug one of the most liberal in Europe. Sale of hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine will remain illegal.

    "No research shows that marijuana is more harmful or addictive than alcohol and tobacco," says Georg Amstutz, spokesman for the Federal Office of Public Health.

    Authorities say the law, which has the backing of all cantons and most major political parties, reflects the widespread consumption of cannabis in Switzerland and the need to regulate it. Statistics show that in a population of 7 million, more than 500,000 are regular consumers who collectively spend over $650 million a year on marijuana.

    The move to legalize cannabis is seen by the government as a necessary step toward regulating the cultivation, sale and consumption of the drug."We believe that repression will not stop its sale and use, but by legalizing it we are eliminating the black market and putting it out in the open where we can control the situation," Amstutz says. Legalization will mean that marijuana could be openly consumed in public places where tobacco and alcohol are allowed.

    The law will not, however, give free reign to marijuana dealers and users; strict rules will govern its production, sale and consumption. For example, only Swiss-grown marijuana can be sold - quantities and prices are still to be determined - and export or import of the drug will be forbidden. By the same token, only Swiss residents will be able to purchase the drug and sale to minors will be prohibited.

    Amstutz says the government will intensify its drug prevention policies and does not think that availability of marijuana will lead to an increase in use. "Maybe in the beginning some people will try it out of curiosity, but in the long run we don't believe we'll see a rise in consumption," he says. "When something is no longer forbidden, it becomes less attractive."

    Bernard Rappaz, a cannabis grower in the canton of Valais and one of the leading proponents of legalization, says he is "very happy" with the new law, which will allow him to grow cannabis on his 30-hectare farm, one of 300 such plantations in the country.

    "The society living with tobacco and alcohol can certainly permit legal marijuana," he says. Rappaz, who has been smoking marijuana regularly for the past decade, says the new law "is a sign that society is becoming more responsible. Personally, I'd much rather see my son smoke a joint than drink alcohol."

    The law, Amsutz says, is in accordance with all international treaties and will benefit other European countries by ensuring that home-grown cannabis is no longer exported. And while the government will not gain financially from the marijuana industry - sales will not be taxed - Amsutz says one advantage will be a lighter load on the police and justice system.

    Note: The Swiss move to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana.

    Source: Time Magazine (US)
    Author: Helena Bachmann Geneva
    Published: Friday, March 16, 2001
    Address: Time Magazine Letters, Time & Life Bldg.
    Rockefeller Center, NY, NY 10020
    Copyright: 2001 Time Inc
    Fax: (212) 522-8949
    Contact: letters@time.com
    Website: http://www.time.com/time/
  2. I wish my country would elect officials based on their intelligence ,instead of on their rhetoric just three months before the election.

    Go Switzerland ! ! !
  3. will america be the last country to have marijuana illegal? Why just 40 years ago we wanted to be first, frist into space, first on the moon. Now we are last. Sad. Truely sad. :(
  4. hey guys most europeans think america is the most oppressive on the plannet land of the free my arse

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