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On-the-spot pot test Weeding out smokers of illegal cannabis

A new test makes it possible for Swiss police officers to find out whether someone is smoking an illegal substance. The test is reliable and cheap to carry out, and quickly allows the police to see if someone is in possession of legal, industrial hemp or a banned type of cannabis. (RTS/swissinfo.ch) 

Legal cannabis has become a flourishing business in Switzerland, which changed its laws in 2011 to let adults buy and use cannabis with up to 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the active ingredient that gets smokers high. It is used alongside another active ingredient, cannabidiol (CBD), in a growing range of cannabis-related products, from cosmetics to drinks. 

Under a 2013 law, like a simple traffic offence, anyone over 18 caught in possession of up to ten grams of illegal cannabis will receive a CHF100 ($105) fine and the offence will not show up on their criminal record. 

In 2008, Swiss voters rejected an initiative to decriminalise cannabis. At the same time they approved a new federal law on narcoticsexternal link, which introduced a controlled and limited use of cannabis for medical purposes. Before then it was allowed only in research.

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