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Marijuana Swiss government supports legalising medical cannabis

A picture of a cannabis farm

In 2017, around 3000 patients were treated with medical cannabis, often people with incurable diseases or terminal cancer.

(© KEYSTONE / CHRISTIAN BEUTLER)

The Federal Council has recommended the approval of the sale of cannabis for medical purposes. It also wants to legalise pilot tests to establish how a general legalisation would impact consumers.

The changes are intended to facilitate access to medical cannabis for patients in Switzerland, the Federal Office of Publish Health (FOPH) wrote in a press release.

In 2017, around 3000 patients were treated with medical cannabis, often people with incurable diseases or terminal cancer. But currently permission is only granted on a case by case basis, and hinders access, delaying treatment.

The home affairs ministry has now been tasked with proposing a change to the law by summer 2019. 

Recreational use

In its announcement on Wednesday, the Federal Council also said it wanted to allow pilot studies to go ahead to examine the drug’s effects when used recreationally.

Although cannabis for recreational purposes is illegal, the government said the number of users had remained stable and the black market was flourishing.

That’s why the authorities in several Swiss cities and cantons have expressed interest in the studies. So far, such investigations have been banned.

+ Bern cannabis study rejected for legal reasons

Interested parties have until October 25 to provide input on the pilot studies’ proposal before it goes to parliament for debate.

SDA-ATS/ln

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