Swiss Want Cannabis Laws Lightened

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Feb 16, 2001.

  1. By The Associated Press
    Source: Newsday

    More than half of the Swiss support loosening the laws banning marijuana, according to a survey by a drug and alcohol agency.
    The figures, released Thursday by the private Swiss Institute for Alcohol and Drug Problems following a study in November, say that 54 percent favor a softening of penalties for smoking, possessing and selling the drug.

    ''Cannabis consumption is becoming normal,'' institute director Richard Mueller said.

    In the survey of 1,600 people between the ages of 15 and 74, more than a quarter said they had smoked a marijuana cigarette at least once in their life, with the figure rising to 50 percent among teen-agers and young adults. No margin of error was given for the poll.

    The study suggests that around 87,000 out of the 7 million Swiss smoke a marijuana cigarette daily.

    The institute supports legalizing possession and use of cannabis, and also wants to allow the sale of small quantities of the drug.

    However, its thinking is not out of tune with that of the Swiss government. Last year, the government proposed parliament decriminalize marijuana use, though other drugs would remain illegal. Parliament is due to consider it by June.

    Penalties for use of so-called soft drugs are rarely imposed, and Switzerland is rated as having one of the world's most liberal drug policies.

    The study said that there should still be controls on use of soft drugs in public places, and that any moves toward liberalizing the law should be accompanied by a health education campaign similar to that aimed at tobacco smokers.

    Bern, Switzerland (AP)

    Source: Newsday (NY)
    Published: February 15, 2001
    Copyright: 2001, Newsday Inc.
    Address: 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville NY 11747
    Fax: (516) 843-2986

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