Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland)
Cannabis soon depenalised?
The following is a translation of a German language article in the major Swiss newspaper NZZ:
On a political level there is a clear readiness to decriminalise
cannabis use. This was the result of the hearings for the revision
of the narcotics law, which centered on the question of penalisation.
In August  the Federal Council [Swiss Federal Government] offered
five variants for debate.
In Switzerland an estimated several hundred thousand people consume
Cannabis more or less regularly. Considering this reality, representatives
of a majority of the Cantons [prefectural governments] and of the
parties in the Federal Council support to remove penalties at least
for use, acquisition, possession and cultivation for personal use.
According to a clear majority of the cantons for now at least hashish
and marijuana should no longer be regarded as illegal narcotics. At
the same time an age limit should be set for the protection of the youth.
The conference of the health and welfare heads of the cantons as well
as individual cantons such as Basel-City or Obwalden support removing
penalties for use of any drugs, while others such as Jura, Uri or Zurich
support legalisation of soft drugs but for hard drugs support the
opportunity principle, which makes it possible to refrain from prosecuting.
Amongst the government parties a majority is at least for a
decriminalisation of cannabis use. The SP [Socialdemocratic Party, left] wants
to decriminalize all drug use while the CVP [Christian People's Party, right]
wants to restrict this to cannabis only. The FDP [Liberal Party, centre] is also
in principle for the legalisation of cannabis. The SVP [Swiss People's Party,
far right] is opposed. It fears for an increase in drug use in case of
That cultivation of hemp plants may be an interesting alternative
especially for farmers is also clear to the Swiss Farmers' Association (SBV).
The board of the SBV also supports the decriminalisation of cannabis use
and is at the same time opposed to tightening controls on [cannabis]
Neue Zürcher Zeitung