Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Swiss capital city wants to test controlled sale of cocaine

Photo of a person with a small bag of cocaine in their hands
Bern city is looking to launch a pilot trial of controlled cocaine sales. Keystone / Martin Ruetschi

Switzerland's capital city, Bern, has signalled its intent to conduct a scientific pilot trial of controlled cocaine sales.

With 43 votes to 18, the city parliament approved a motion from the Alternative Left to extend trials with cannabis to the future legal sale of cocaine.

Despite recognising that cocaine is a harmful drug, Bern politicians believe that supervised sales could lead to better control of the narcotic, reported SRFExternal link

+ Read about the economic impact of cannabis legalisation in Switzerland

The motion met with opposition mainly from right leaning and centre parties, such as the Swiss People’s Party, Radical-Liberal Party, Evangelical Party. They argued that such a decision should be left to the federal government.

However, Franziska Teuscher, Bern’s Director of Education, Social Affairs and Sport, pointed out that: “The government only agreed to the cannabis pilot projects under pressure from the cities.”

Bern’s vote is intended to send a signal to the government and to other cities to consider the idea.

This cocaine sale proposal was narrowly rejected by the Bern parliament in 2019, but a second version featuring more restrictions gathered enough additional support from the leftwing Social Democratic Party to force the motion through on Thursday. 

Cannabis sale pilot projects are already underway in Basel, Zurich and Lusanne. Bern is expected to follow suit in autumn 2023 and Biel a few months later.

More

More

Ten years on from Needle Park

This content was published on The Platzspitz, which had become known as “Needle Park”, attracted hundreds of heroin addicts daily. In the park, users from all over Europe bought their drugs, and injected them openly. Some social workers and doctors treating drug addicts believed the Platzspitz had its advantages – at least addicts were in one specific place where they…

Read more: Ten years on from Needle Park
More

Popular Stories

Most Discussed

News

The data also show a slight increase in the proportion of overweight conscripts, reflecting a broader societal trend, according to the army.

More

Majority of young Swiss well-trained, army fitness test reveals

This content was published on More than half of young Swiss men and women are considered well-trained, with around 80% meeting the federal government's exercise recommendations, according to the Armed Forces 2023 fitness test.

Read more: Majority of young Swiss well-trained, army fitness test reveals
Italian voters lead political discussions while playing cards, ahead of the elections for the center-left coalition primary elections in Italy, Sunday, October 16, 2005 in the Casa Italia in Zurich, Switzerland.

More

Italian consulate to relocate to ‘Casa d’Italia’ in Zurich

This content was published on The Italian state is renovating the "Casa d'Italia" in Zurich's Kreis 4 district, with plans to move the Consulate General from its current location on Tödistrasse in District 2 to this historic building.

Read more: Italian consulate to relocate to ‘Casa d’Italia’ in Zurich
A man cleans up the remains of a blown up ATM at the Blitz Garage Volketswil, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021 in Volketswil.

More

ATM explosion rocks canton Vaud

This content was published on Unknown assailants detonated an ATM in canton Vaud early Sunday morning, causing extensive damage to the building. The perpetrators fled the scene and remain at large.

Read more: ATM explosion rocks canton Vaud
Lake Parade in Geneva attracts over 100,000 people

More

Lake Parade in Geneva attracts over 100,000 people

This content was published on The 22nd Lake Parade and the Lake Sensation in Geneva attracted over 100,000 people in summery weather on Saturday. There were no major incidents at either event.

Read more: Lake Parade in Geneva attracts over 100,000 people

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR