Switzerland’s current cannabis policy is experiencing multiple challenges: an unsatisfactory implementation of the narcotics law against cannabis users, a very visible and legal CBD cannabis market, attempts of cantons and cities to develop cannabis-distribution trials, possibly a ballot initiative, and a growing demand for medical cannabis. These multiple challenges should indicate that Switzerland could change its policy in the not too distant future.
Some cities and cantons play an important role in the current situation as their request for a change in cannabis policy is difficult for the federal authorities to ignore. The decision to target the only legal opportunity provided by the federal law (scientific trials) has somewhat reduced the scope of their action, with projects that are often small-scale public health-oriented scientific trials. At the national level, the change of the narcotics law allowing for non-medical trials with cannabis is at this point the most likely and rapid change to be expected. It remains, however, unclear if such a proposal can get the support of a majority of parliamentarians.
A possible scenario is that several issues with the cannabis policy (problems with the implementation of the current law, regulation of the CBD market, growing numbers of requests for medical cannabis, etc) trigger individual partial revision of the narcotics law. Instead of going for the big change, this would fix the issues one by one. This scenario is not currently being discussed but it remains the model by default.
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