The Swiss government has approved the legalization of the consumption and sale of cannabis in Zurich
According to public health surveys conducted in Switzerland, one in three adults has tried this recreational drug. In Zurich, a city of 400000 inhabitants, the number of regular consumers is estimated at 13000.
The Swiss government has approved the legalization of the consumption and sale of cannabis in Zurich in a court that will assess the health and economic benefits of regulating the supply of this recreational drug.
As part of a three-and-a-half-year scientific study to begin this summer, 2 residents of Switzerland's largest city will be able to buy regulated doses of cannabis for their personal use if they agree to respond every six months to a questionnaire on their consumption, their habits and their health.
Some European authorities seek to emulate the United States in their approach to liberalizing cannabis laws. In Germany, the government last October unveiled plans for nationwide drug legalization, with stringent conditions attached. There is no precise timetable yet for the adoption of legislation in Germany.
Barbara Burri, project manager at the Zurich Department of Health, Decemberlare Wednesday that "the idea is to get strong real-world evidence to inform the development of new [national] cannabis regulations."
This announcement by the Swiss executive follows the final approval of the federal health department on Tuesday. From July, consumers will be able to buy cannabis in pharmacies, specialist dispensaries and social clubs in Zurich, at prices which may be adjusted according to changes in black market prices.
According to public health surveys conducted in Switzerland, one in three adults has tried cannabis. In Zurich, a city of 400 inhabitants, the number of regular consumers is estimated at 000.
Participants will be able to choose from a range of products featuring different concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol, the active component of cannabis. Very potent varieties, with THC concentrations of up to 20%, will be available. All products will be subject to strict purity controls and will be produced organically by approved Swiss companies.
“The test will take a broad approach in order to obtain data on the effects of different cannabis potencies, what helps people make informed choices, and the advantages and disadvantages of different sales models,” explained Ms. Burri.
The results of the survey will be published regularly from next year. The program will be open to anyone over the age of 18, excluding pregnant women, professional drivers and adults with symptoms of drug addiction or whose health is impaired by drug use.
Just over a third of Swiss citizens voted in favor of the program. In September 2020, Swiss parliamentarians passed an amendment to the country's narcotics law to allow "pilot" legalizations of cannabis.
The Swiss city of Basel staged a smaller-scale trial to legalize cannabis use last September. Zurich finalized its proposals for a trial period in July 2022.